TMJ Relief – Why Is It So Hard To Find?

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If you suffer from TMJ Disorder you may live years with pain that is never properly diagnosed. You may suffer from headaches, muscle pains, cracked teeth, neck and back issues, nausea, ringing in the ears, and more. You could have one or all of these symptoms or other problems not listed. You could have symptoms that seem to come and go or you may have pain that is more chronic. As you can assume, the way in which TMJ Disorder presents itself can be a confusing case for doctors and patients alike. Because the manifestations of TMJ Disorder are also common ailments of other common syndromes, the wrong tests and wrong relief is often prescribed. Ringing in the ears can be diagnosed as an ear infection. Headaches can be attributed to dehydration or stress. Muscle pains can be a result of strenuous exercise, and so on and so forth. If you have chronic pain that you can’t seem to get to the root of, it could be TMJ Disorder.

Your temporomandibular joint, also know as your TMJ, is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull and facilitates normal movements such as chewing and talking and yawning. If you are experiencing any disruption in the full range use of this joint, the results are painful and unpredictable. Nearly ten million American adults currently suffer from TMJ Syndrome to some degree. TMJ Syndrome can often come and go, correcting itself on it’s own. More often than not, however, TMJ Disorder needs special attention and treatment. As we have seen, this treatment can be hard to come by due to the deceptive nature of TMJ Disorder. Most doctors, whether they are your general practitioner or your general dentist, are simply not attuned to looking for TMJ Disorder. They are not trained in neuromuscular diagnosis. Finding a neuromuscular dentist to help diagnosis and treat TMJ disorder is often the only way to find relief that works.

Only TMJ Specialists will recognize firstly that your symptoms could be associated with TMJ Disorder. General practitioners will first explore perhaps more “obvious” causes for the chronic pain or disruptions you are experiencing. They may prescribe certain medicines to combat the pain or order a MRI to further explore the reasons behind your symptoms. Unfortunately, MRIS are not always effective in finding TMJ so it can still be overlooked as a cause for your problems. Pain medications are only temporary relief and can also be addictive. A neuromuscular dentist can actually treat the actual cause of your problems, which is TMJ Disorder. Instead of masking your problems, they fix them. With advanced technology and special training a TMJ dentist can help you on the road to recovery.

TMJ Relief can be hard to find because many doctors don’t know to look for it. If you are suffering from chronic pain that appears to have no end in sight, despite the multiple diagnoses and prescribed solutions, it is time to contact a TMJ Specialist. A dentist that is a specialist in neuromuscular dentistry may be able to provide the relief that you are seeking.

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What Are My Options For TMJ Chiropractic Treatments?

If you suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, you may be desperate to find some type of treatment that is going to relieve your headaches, joint pain, back pain, chewing difficulties, and other problems. One of the options you may not have considered is TMJ chiropractic treatments.


What are TMJ Chiropractic Treatments?
Chiropractic care focuses on the spine. The basic believe in the practice is that when the spine is out of alignment the results are health problems which run through the nervous system. The idea is that if the spine can be brought back into alignment through manual manipulation then the health problems can be corrected. In most cases multiple treatments are needed to bring about real improvements for patients.

Typically, chiropractors view TMJ Disorder treatment as a way of reducing stress on the jaw. The view is that once that stress is removed through the changes in alignment then the pain will be alleviated.

Making Changes for TMJ Chiropractic TreatmentsIf you have received a TMJ diagnosis and go to a chiropractor for treatment, he or she will probably pay special attention to the neck and the upper back. This area is typically where much of the tightness caused by tension is going to be found and that tension usually translates into the habits and behaviors which lead to the worsening of TMJ jaw pain. Some TMJ chiropractic treatments will also involve manipulating the jaw joint itself. While some of the manipulation may be uncomfortable at the time, the purpose will be to reduce your pain.


Treatment Needs
Unfortunately, you may feel worse the first couple of times you have the TMJ chiropractic treatments because the manipulation of the joints and spine can be uncomfortable and may leave behind some pain residue. However, once you’ve completed at least 4 to 6 treatments, you should begin to have some relief of your TMJ headaches and other symptoms. Typically, 2 to 3 treatments are needed for at least 3 to 6 months.
Additionally, you should consider seeing top TMJ specialists in other areas of medicine, too. While TMJ chiropractic treatments can bring relief, they can do so faster when paired with other methods. For example, a guard worn in the mouth at night can prevent the problem from getting worse.


Paying for TMJ Chiropractic Treatments
Unlike many alternative or complementary treatment methods, chiropractic care is often covered by health insurance plans. In fact, some plans may want you to try this treatment method before they pay for more expensive invasive procedures. However, if you do not have health insurance, many chiropractors offer payment plans or have financing programs that will still allow you to get the pain relief you need. That may not always be the case so consider calling around to talk to a variety of chiropractors before making your first appointment.

Additionally, before you pay anything for your treatment you need to make sure the staff has experience helping patients who suffer from TMJ Disorder.

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TMJ Surgery – Is It Really The Best Solution?

TMJ disorder refers to a chronic pain condition that afflicts the temporomandibular joint, also referred to as the TMJ. In the beginning, TMJ disorder may seem like a simple annoyance, but left untreated, the symptoms will only progress and worsen over time. Since the joint in question connects the jaw to the lower part of the skull, TMJ symptoms can negatively impact a number of unavoidable daily activities, including talking and eating. While there are various tactics that may be employed to lessen the discomfort of TMJ symptoms, such as eating only soft foods, regularly performing exercises to loosen and relax the jaw, and taking care not to open the jaw wide while biting or chewing, these are only temporary fixes. If you or someone you care about suffers from TMJ, you’ll want a permanent solution. In the past, surgery was frequently cited as the only way to “cure” TMJ disorder for good. However, new advances in neuromuscular dentistry have made it clear that surgery is not the only solution. In fact, considering the many risks associated with TMJ surgery, it is rarely the best solution for most TMJ patients.

There are several different surgical techniques that are regularly employed in the treatment of TMJ. The least invasive of these is arthrocentesis, or joint irrigation. Arthrocentesis usually takes around fifteen minutes to complete and requires the use of general anesthesia. The process involves flushing the joint via injection in order remove inflamed fluids. Frequently, surgeons will also inject steroids into the area in order to prevent inflammation. While arthrocentesis is relatively low-risk, it is still a surgical procedure and has the standard attendant dangers, including reactions to anesthesia and possibility of infection. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the surgery will help relieve TMJ symptoms. If arthrocentesis is unsuccessful, the doctor may advice moving on to the next type of TMJ surgery, arthroplasty.

Arthroplasty refers to any type of “open surgery” used to treat TMJ. There are many different procedures that fall into the category of arthroplasty, some more dangerous and invasive than others. One surgical tactic is disk repositioning. During this procedure, the surgeon will locate and reposition the protective cartilage disk that has slipped out of place in the temporomandibular joint. (A slipped disk in the TMJ often leads to pain and a persistent “popping” noise, two of the hallmarks of TMJ disorder.) This type of surgery requires an overnight hospital stay, and there are no guarantees that the disk will not slip again after being stitched into place. The next type of arthroplasty is the discectomy, or total removal of the disk. The surgeon may also want to try a process such as articular eminance recontouring, which seeks to reshape the “socket” portion of the temporomandibular joint. The final and most extreme type of arthroplasty is TMJ replacement surgery. If the TMJ is determined to be badly deteriorated or otherwise beyond repair, the surgeon may suggest partial or even total replacement of the joint.

Patients who undergo TMJ surgery expose themselves to a variety of serious health risks. These risks range from pain, swelling and excessive bleeding, to post-surgical infection and even the possibility of damage to the surrounding facial nerves. A far better solution involves reparative dentistry. A TMJ specialist like Dr. Eddie Siman of Millennium Dental will be able to explain your non-surgical options, such as orthotics or “splint therapy,” porcelain veneers to realign the bite or even total mouth reconstruction, more thoroughly. If you’re considering your TMJ treatment options and you’d like to avoid surgery, contact Millennium Dental today and make an appointment with Dr. Siman.

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MRI & TMJ – Can an MRI Diagnose TMJ & Help With Treatment?

If you are suffering from chronic pain that manifests itself as migraines and headaches it is probable that you have consulted various physicians to help diagnose the cause of your headaches and prescribe relief.  A MRI may have even been ordered to find the cause of your headaches.  Unfortunately, if you are suffering from TMJ Disorder then a MRI may not detect the source of your pain.  This could lead you down a road of misdiagnoses and prescribed solutions that offer only temporary relief and that do not actually fix the problem.  Suffering from chronic headaches and unexplained pain not only  disrupts your everyday life but it also can diminish your quality of life.

Many medical professionals use an MRI to try and diagnose chronic head pain. A MRI is a magnetic resonance imaging of soft tissue in the body.  It is a noninvasive way to take pictures of the inside of the body.  The MRI scanner contains a powerful magnet that allows hydrogen atoms in the body to align in such away that radio waves are able to bounce back a signal to a computer, creating an image that is then stored on the computer.  Healthy tissue produces different signals than unhealthy tissue.  Also, different kinds of tissue produce different waves.  MRIs can be effective in diagnosing cancer or tumors but may not be effective when it comes to TMJ Syndrome.  In fact, despite being commonly used, this is the wrong way to offer diagnosis if you are suffering from TMJ Disorder.  First, the lactic acid in the mandibular muscles must be released so the jaw can relax in a natural position – only then can the diagnosis occur. This is why MRIs are not the right tool for diagnosis.

A dentist that specializes in Neuromuscular Dentistry, such as Dr. Eddie Siman, knows to look for solutions to TMJ Disorder.  Many general practitioners overlook the TMJ as a cause for chronic pain.   Because symptoms of TMJ Disorder are also symptoms for other medical issues, such as ear infections and stress-related pain, TMJ syndrome is not often the first explored as a possible cause of chronic pain.  If you have been suffering from headaches that can’t seem to be explained, even by a MRI, it is time to consult a TMJ specialist.  A TMJ Specialist has the proper training and technology to treat your TMJ symptoms, giving you a new lease on life.  Through a series of simple diagnostic tests, Dr. Siman can determine the cause of your symptoms.  Perhaps your bite is the cause of your TMJ Disorder or you had an accident that caused a misalignment in your jaw.  The possibilities are many when it comes to TMJ Disorder and sometimes the cause will go unknown.  However if you are in the capable hands of a neuromuscular dentist, chances are you will find relief sooner rather than later.  Stop suffering and start living again.  Life is too short to live it in pain.

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Acupuncture TMJ – Does It Work?

When people have TMJ, they often become frustrated by traditional medical treatments which seem to have few answers for them. Doctors and dentists may not be able to isolate the cause of their pain or may even accuse them of being hypochondriacs. TMJ headaches and other related pains can be so severe patients may have no other choice but to turn to alternative options such as TMJ acupuncture .


How Does Acupuncture TMJ Work?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment involving the placement of very thin needles into pressure points on the body. The needles are supposed to redirect the body’s energy to improve the overall health of the person or to provide pain relief. The practice has been used for thousands of years. Costs can sometimes be covered by health insurance but without a clear diagnosis of TMJ Disorder that’s unlikely.

In most cases, multiple treatments are needed per week and each treatment session lasts around 30 minutes.


Is Acupuncture TMJ Effective?
A number of reports suggest that it provides benefits. A study of 70 patients suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder found that 85% of them said they had some level of pain reduction thanks to the treatments. Looking at studies such as this might suggest that the needles themselves are effective in reducing the symptoms of this jaw disorder. However, problems exist with the studies.


Difficulties with Acupuncture TMJ Studies
Many researchers have compared acupuncture treatments to placebo treatments without finding any difference in overall pain relief. Most patients tend to want relief so much and to believe that acupuncture is going to be the best remedy available that they believe it does work. Another theory is that acupuncture does provide one effect: prompting the body to release endorphins. When the endorphins start surging through the body, they can be a natural pain reliever. They can also improve mood and relief tension which is particularly useful for people with TMJ since their condition is worsened by stress.

Unfortunately, accupuncture TMJ is not going to provide you with long-lasting, permanent relief from the causes of the disorder.


More Effective Alternative to Acupuncture TMJ
First, you should continue looking for specialists who can diagnose your condition properly. Once you receive the appropriate diagnosis, you can begin having more effective treatments. For example, some of the treatments involve a combination of muscle relaxants or anti-depressants and possible corrections to your jaw. In some severe cases, surgery may be needed to replace the disc that should be placed within the joint to provide some protection from the friction. Other treatments are also available, including behavior modification which can help you learn not to grind your teeth when stressed which exacerbates the condition.

Another common treatment is to insert a needle into the joint so the area can be flushed in order to reduce inflammation. Medication is sometimes used in the needle instead and can provide pain relief, as well. Research on this treatment has shown that it does provide long-term relief unlike Acupuncture TMJ.

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