Eliminate Pain Caused by TMJ Disorders
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders often cause jaw pain and dysfunction, which can typically be resolved once the underlying issue has been treated. Dr. Maryam Motlagh understands the importance of treating problems at the source. She takes time to thoroughly diagnose and treat the various aspects of TMJ disorders at her Portland, OR, practice for improved oral function and long-lasting results. If you suffer from chronic headaches, jaw pain, or any other symptoms of TMD, Dr. Motlagh will begin with a thorough diagnosis. She can then design a customized, multi-stage treatment plan that meets your needs. Contact Aesthetic Smiles℠ to schedule your consultation.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
Ultimately, TMJ disorders, also known as TMD, are the result of jaw misalignment. Improper alignment can occur for a number of reasons, such as poor posture. Your overall body position affects spinal alignment and, in turn, the natural resting position of your jaw. Difficulty breathing is another common cause of jaw misalignment. Allergies, asthma, and other breathing conditions may cause your adenoids and tonsils to swell, blocking airflow. As a result, you may push your head and neck forward to open your airways, and breathe through your mouth. This shift places pressure on your jaw, and can lead to joint damage and tissue inflammation. In addition, the causes of TMD often begin in childhood. If your child has poor posture, allergies, or other health conditions, you should seek treatment before these issues cause chronic oral and facial abnormalities.
Symptoms of TMD
TMD has a number of common symptoms that can range in severity from minor discomfort to life-altering pain. An evaluation by a physiologic dentist should be considered when suffering from any of the following conditions:
- Facial pain and soreness
- Tension headaches
- Pain or pressure in sinuses or behind the eyes
- Deep bite
- Teeth grinding with accompanying tooth wear or sensitivity
- Receding or deeply set lower face
- Ear pain or pressure, or unexplained vertigo and tinnitus
- Jaw stiffness
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Neck pain and tension
- Sleep disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea
- An inability to completely open or close your jaw
- A popping or clicking noise with jaw movement
- Numbness in fingers, hands, and arms
- Accelerated aging of the face
Through a customized, multi-disciplinary approach, Dr. Motlagh and her team can develop a unique treatment plan tailored to your needs.
If you suffer from any of the wide range of TMD symptoms, Dr. Motlagh may recommend one or more tests, depending on your particular needs. With computerized jaw analysis and electromyography (EMG) tests, she can evaluate your jaw function, muscle activity, and TMJ health. She may also refer you to a clinic located just across the street for computerized tomography (CT) scans. There, a certified radiologist can read your scans for signs of jaw damage or a slipped joint disc that may be causing painful symptoms. Dr. Motlagh can also evaluate your posture, breathing and swallowing patterns, and lifestyle to determine possible causes of TMD. If necessary, you may be referred to other practitioners such as an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist to address the root cause of the issue.
Comprehensive, Multi-stage Treatments
Through a customized multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Motlagh and her team can develop a unique treatment plan tailored to your needs. Your care will take place in stages. During the initial period, we will work to relax and reprogram your inflamed muscles, heal the jaw joints, and establish a comfortable bite and posture. This process usually takes several months. Treatment could involve physical therapy, Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS), upper cervical treatment, and fabrication of an orthotic to reduce pressure on your jaw and ease inflammation and discomfort. The orthotic can be made as a removable appliance to be worn at night, or it can be made with tooth-colored material so it can be comfortably worn 24/7 for best results.
The majority of patients do not want to depend on an appliance long term. Once the correct position of the jaw has been tested with an orthotic appliance, Dr. Motlagh may recommend orthodontia or restorative treatments as phase two, or the "corrective phase", to establish a comfortable bite position permanently.
If you are suffering from jaw pain, headaches, or related discomfort, contact our office today for a comprehensive TMJ evaluation. We can determine whether your pain is the result of TMD and can provide appropriate care.
“By far, the best dental service I have ever received! The entire staff is friendly, outgoing and very helpful in explaining what's going on throughout your visit.” Marcus E.