TMD & TMJ

What are the common symptoms of TMD/TMJ?

Do you suffer from headaches?  Do you clench or grind your teeth during the day or night?  Are your teeth always closed together? Are your gums receding? Do you notice that your front or back (or both) teeth are wearing down?  Do you have to have dental work redone?  How about these symptoms that you probably never even thought of that might be related to your mouth and bite: ringing in the ears (tinnitus); stuffiness in the ears or eyes; neck or shoulder pain; back pain; plus a myriad of other unexplained aches and pains.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then Bioesthetic Dentistry is the relief which you have been seeking.

TMJ Questionnaire

We created this TMJ Questionnaire so that you could quickly evaluate if a TMJ disorder may be the underlying cause of your current jaw pain, headache, earache, facial pain, etc.

Any question where you answer “yes” may represent unstable jaw joints, also known as TMJ dysfunction. The more “yes” answers, the higher the probability for that you have TMJ related issues.

1. My jaw joints pop or click when I open my mouth?

2. My jaw hurts when I open or close my mouth?

3. I have locking or limited opening of my mouth?

4. I have headaches and/or facial pain?

5. I have earaches and/or ringing in my ears?

6. I clench or grind my teeth?

7. My teeth are worn, broken or loose?

8. My teeth hurt when I chew and/or are hot/cold sensitive?

9. I’m experiencing neck, shoulder and/or back pain?

10. My jaws get tired when chewing certain foods or during dental appointments?

Diagnosing & Understanding TMJ

The Significance of TMJ

TMJ Treatment Roadmap

The woman in the photographs the left came to me after suffering from migraines, head and neck pain, teeth pain, clenching, grinding, and overall lethargy and fatigue. These were not symptoms that had just started a few weeks or a few months before…no these were symptoms that she had been experiencing for over 30 years. She had been to many dentists over the years and each one did the best they could for her, but no one ever addressed her entire chewing/biting system.  After a complete exam, we embarked upon a Bioesthetic Treatment regime for her.  After completion of this treatment plan, the results were remarkable.  The photo on the left is the best smile she could muster and this was, according to her, “taken on a good day”.  The photo on the right was taken upon completion of her bioesthetic treatment. Notice the change in her eyes and facial muscles.  This occurs because her muscles are relaxed due to her new stable bite. The smile and teeth look great and she has her energy back.  Bioesthetics literally gave this wonderful lady her life back!

This gentleman in the photos to the right is a local business owner. He knew that his teeth were wearing down, and he was always aware of his teeth clenching and touching. He found it hard to relax his jaw muscle. You can see how tense and enlarged the side jaw muscles are in the before photo on the left compared to the after photo on the right. And, by the way, he is thrilled with his beautiful smile!

Patient Experiences

Some Commonly Asked Questions:

How will bioesthetic dentistry benefit me?

This is a very good question.  My answer is simple. If you are tired of seeing your teeth wear down, if you are tired of headaches,  if you are tired of having to have dentistry done over and over again, or you want to have the very best chance of keeping your teeth for your lifetime then I guarantee you that you will benefit from bioesthetic  dentistry.

How is bioesthetics different from the dentistry that I have received in the past?

The majority of dentists practice what I call remedial dentistry. And that treatment is usually directed to a specific site (“your lower front teeth”) and is a reaction to a specific problem or pathology (“your lower front teeth are chipped and worn”).  Then a ‘treatment’ is recommended (“veneers on your lower front teeth so they won’t wear”). The problem with this approach is that the question of why the lower front teeth are worn is never asked.  The teeth are treated but the forces that caused the wear in the first place are still there, so now these forces will just be directed to other places and symptoms will begin there.  Bioesthetic Dentistry asks the question-why is this happening?  And then seeks to discover and treat the cause of the problem before simply treating the problem.  Bioesthetic dentistry restores harmony to a pathologic and dysfunctional system so that the dentistry will not only be the most beautiful dentistry available but also will last.

How do I know if I am a candidate for bioesthetic dentistry?

 Anyone who has at least one of the following symptoms is very likely a candidate:

  • Chipped or worn teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receded gums
  • Headaches (including migraines)
  • Jaw joint pain, popping , clicking
  • Clenching/Grinding
  • Head/neck/shoulder pain
  • Stuffiness or ringing in the ear

 

A typical patient with worn teeth and receding gums.  Sometimes the signs or symptoms are not this obvious; they can be more discrete at first, and then manifest themselves later in life. 

 

Many dental problems are the result of a bite that is not in harmony. Instead of functioning smoothly and efficiently, the jaw muscles, teeth, and jaw joint all try to function independently of each other; the result is always a breakdown in the system. This breakdown manifests itself in several ways, as mentioned on the previous page (blue highlight).

STEP 1

Bioesthetic dentistry first addresses your jaw joint.  We stabilize your joint utilizing an acrylic appliance that is worn in the mouth full- time for several weeks. This appliance is custom made for your mouth, and it is adjusted in our office every week to allow your jaw joint to center back into its optimal position.

These photos show a patient with the appliance in the mouth. It is very comfortable and you can function normally with it in place. You can even eat in it. The positive effects of the appliance are usually felt within just a few hours of wear. Your facial, head, and neck muscles start to relax and headaches/facial pain start to subside. 

 

 

 

This photo illustrates a patient’s stone dental models mounted in a bite-simulator. The simulator is programmed specifically for you so that your bite and jaw movements are mimicked exactly. In this manner I can best determine the optimal treatment for you.

 

STEP 2

Once your jaw joint is stable and centered (2-6 weeks of appliance therapy), stone models are made of your teeth and then analyzed carefully on a jaw-simulator.  Then together we create a thorough and comprehensive treatment plan just for you, to best restore your bite to optimal health, performance, and beauty.

STEP 3

 After a comprehensive treatment plan is created and agreed upon then the treatment is completed.  The results are many: a very comfortable mouth with relaxed jaw muscles, teeth that bite properly and efficiently, a significant reduction or elimination of head/ neck pain and headaches, and a beautiful smile!

Bioesthetic  dentistry it the most comprehensive, health-centered dentistry available.  If you want a healthy, comfortable mouth with minimal problems in the future; if you are seeking a beautiful smile; if you want to look and feel  rejuvenated, then bioesthetic dentistry is the answer for which you are searching.

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