TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition characterized by a misaligned temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint which connects your jaw to your skull. You use your TMJ when you open and close your jaws to chew, yawn, and speak.
When the jaw joint is not working properly, it can cause a variety of problems that affect your entire body. TMD is typically treated using the principles of neuromuscular dentistry, a field of dentistry which focuses on attending to alignment issues in your jaw and bite.
St. Joseph neuromuscular dentist Dr. Sven Erickson was trained thoroughly on TMD treatment during his time at the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, the premier neuromuscular dentistry training institution in the nation. As a result, he is able to utilize his jaw joint knowledge to relieve many of the symptoms caused by TMD.
People with TMD may experience a wide range of symptoms that affect the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and back. Because the jaw joint connects to a variety of other areas like the facial muscles, neck muscles, tendons, and upper-body nerve bundles, even a small problem with your TMJ can have wide-reaching effects. Symptoms of TMD include:
When deciding on a course of treatment for TMD, Dr. Erickson will consider your unique combination of symptoms and the information gathered during your jaw tracking tests. He usually begins with the most conservative efforts, such as lifestyle/behavioral changes, to minimize symptoms and improve jaw joint health.
Restoration of a healthy bite and pain relief are the ultimate goals, and they may be accomplished using oral appliances (usually worn during sleep), electric muscle stimulation with the TENS unit, dental restorations, orthodontic treatment, physical therapy, and in rare cases, jaw surgery.
Please contact our St. Joseph neuromuscular dentist today to schedule your appointment at Modern Dentistry Associates, serving patients in St. Joseph and Kalamazoo, Michigan and Elkhart, Indiana.