HEAD, NECK, FACIAL PAIN AND TM DISORDERS.
We specialize in Neuromuscular Dentistry.
One in every four Americans suffers from acute or chronic head, neck and facial pain. Although a higher percentage of women suffer from Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), adolescents and men may also be affected. Many patients have gone from doctor to doctor in search of symptom relief but their Primary Medical Care Provider tends to be the first person they seek. It is imperative that all healthcare providers are informed on TMD for proper diagnosis, adequate testing and referral.
Temporomandibular Disorder most often manifests itself as a noise (click) in the articulation joint. This noise is related to the reduction of the fibrous disc, misaligned between the condylar head and the glenoid fossa; it is often times accompanied by limited mandibular range of motion.
The muscles that most commonly present with painful symptoms are the muscles of mastication, accessory muscles of mastication, the temporomandibular joints and the area around the ears.
Some of the symptoms of TMD are headaches, TMJ clicking and popping, mandibular lock while opening and closing, facial and neck pain/ stiffness, ear pain and dizziness.
TMD can compromise the physiologic relationship of the condyle, disc and fossa resulting in jaw joint discomfort. TMD is successfully addressed by specially trained dentists.
TMD can be caused by multiple factors such as;
- Whiplash, Direct or Indirect trauma to the masticatory structures during childhood and/or adulthood: pain and dysfunction
- Improper teeth occlusion microtrauma, other head and neck muscles begin to compensate
- Habits and Poor posture wear and tear of joints
- Stress Unconscious teeth bruxing and clenching causing strain on TM joints and muscles
- Muscle Hyperactivity Due to Internal Jaw problems (ex: arthritis) disruption of bone, muscle and joint system.
TMD and Systemic Diseases There is a variety of diseases that can either cause or activate TMJ problems. Immune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis, can cause inflammation in the TMJ. Viral infections, such as measles and mumps, can cause damage to the surface of the TMJ, which can lead to an internal derangement in the TMJ.
Once TMD is suspected or diagnosed, it is of utmost importance that this problem be evaluated by a qualified TMD dentist. Our office performs a comprehensive examination of the temporomandibular Joint, Head, neck and facial region. It consists of performing detailed testing by implementing special techniques such as x-rays, MRI and Jaw Tracking devices. Once we determine the pathological nature and extent of problem, a prognosis is made.
Custom-made orthotic (splint), Physical & Relaxation Therapy, Hot/Cold Therapy, TENS, Spray & Stretch, Stress counseling , and Nutrition Counseling.
Our goal with TMJ treatment is to un-stress the jaw joint, reduce muscle spasm, and improve body posture while simultaneously repositioning the jaw in a more physiologically correct position in relation to the head.
Healthcare Providers and TMD
There are a variety of symptoms caused by temporomandibular disorder that involve other healthcare professionals. Some of these symptoms include ear pain, tinnitus, chronic severe headaches, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and cervical disorders. The following healthcare professionals should consider Temporomandibular Disorder as a differential diagnosis:
- Primary Care Providers
If you have any questions or concerns contact TORRES DENTAL GROUP, we will be happy to assist you.
Dr. María Claudia Torres
78-11 35th Avenue, Suite 1-E
Jackson Heights, NY 11372