TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ) affects the quality of life and is a source of chronic pain for many people. It’s important to visit us at our dental office for an accurate TMD diagnosis. We recommend visiting us if you experience any common symptoms such as:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Head and neck pain
- Sore jaws while chewing
- Pops or clicks in jaw joints
- Ear congestion
- Ear ringing (tinnitus)
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Sensitive teeth
- Severe wear and tear on teeth
- Tooth fracture
- Tooth loss
Neuromuscular dentistry is the art and science of finding your relaxed jaw position (correct bite) using high-tech Electromyograph (EMG) to track jaw muscle activity and find the perfect position of rest. Treatments are then devised to make this position permanent and eliminate painful TMD symptoms. Some of the ways we can treat TMD include:
Neuromuscular appliances called “orthotics”
What is the TENS Unit for TMJ?
First, we will measure the muscle activity and tension in your facial muscles with our Myotronics electromyography equipment. After gathering the base levels of muscle activity, we will then use a TENS unit for TMJ to relax your muscles. TENS electrical stimulation sends a mild, ultra-low frequency pulse into your jaw muscles to relax the muscles and reduce pain. This process will free them of increased lactic acid and by-products that are causing your pain and discomfort.
TENS for TMJ Treatment: How it Works
When you come in for your TMD treatment, you will wear the TENS unit for about 45-60 minutes. The TENS machine placement for TMJ is in a precise location to give you the most benefits. Once you complete your TENS for TMJ treatment, we repeat the electromyography to determine the degree of relaxation of your muscles.
Once you achieve a relaxed jaw and your bite is in a good position, we use TENS electrical stimulation together with jaw tracking equipment to show us the best jaw position where your jaw joints and muscles are most stable and comfortable when resting, chewing, talking and swallowing.
Completing Your TMJ Treatment
After your jaw finds its most comfortable position, we will have a neuromuscular orthotic appliance fabricated to this exact pain-free jaw position. We also refer to this treatment as functional orthodontics. Your orthotic therapy will continue over the next 3-4 months with adjustments every 4-8 weeks until your pain is significantly decreased or completely relieved. Some of our patients even decide to have their bites permanently rebuilt to this comfortable position after the completion of orthotic therapy. This process called full mouth reconstruction, will keep you comfortable and pain-free as well as giving you the smile of your dreams.
We also recommend using Botox injections to give you immediate TMJ pain relief during the orthotic therapy phase of your treatment.
If you are suffering silently with TMD, don’t wait to contact us to get on the road to recovery. Our highly trained neuromuscular dentists and team are waiting to assist you!