November 17, 2016
Does your jaw feel stiff, or is it making clocking or popping noises? Are you getting frequent headaches, or does your face hurt? This may be a neuromuscular disorder called TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. Your dentist in Fremont, Dr. James Block, and his professional staff, get to the source of this often debilitating oral health condition and give patients real, long-lasting relief.
What Exactly is TMJ?
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the ball and socket joint located at both sides of the head. Responsible for opening and closing the mouth, this important, hinge-like joint often fails, leaving patients with serious and distressing symptoms such as:
- The inability to open or close the mouth (jaw joint dislocation)
- Neck, back and shoulder pain
- Tinnitus, a ringing noise in one or both ears
- Dizziness, or vertigo
- Uneven wear of tooth enamel and dental restorations, such as crowns
- A loud popping or clicking noise when opening or closing the mouth
The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research says approximately 10 million American adults have TMJ in varying degrees. While there are many treatments for TMJ, Dr. Block focuses on permanent solutions. His advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry gives him special insight and training regarding how the jaw joint functions–and malfunctions. His treatments go beyond stop gap measures such as muscle relaxants, relaxation exercises, heat and cold therapy and analgesics and pinpoint how TMJ is happening in a particular patient.
Treatments for TMJ in Fremont
Dr. Block uses comprehensive oral examination, digital X-rays, patient descriptions of symptoms and sophisticated CT scans to understand what is happening in the jaw joint. Depending on his findings, he often uses a two-step approach to arrive at long-term solutions for this distressing oral health malady. He also offers common sense suggestions to alleviate symptoms.
For persistent cases of jaw joint dysfunction, Dr. Block may employ TENS therapy. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation. This FDA-approved, low-frequency physical therapy relaxes the muscles of the jaw and face, allowing the dentist to understand the jaw’s best resting position. With this information, Dr. Block can craft a customized orthotic, or oral appliance, which the patient wears to properly align the jaw joint. With proper alignment, symptoms of TMJ often subside. More involved treatments for TMJ may involve orthodontic correction (braces) or replacement of porcelain crowns or other restorations to even dental bite issues.
Do You Have Symptoms?
If you have some of the symptoms of TMJ, don’t continue to suffer. Get to the heart of the matter with a personal consultation with Dr. Block. Contact James Block Dentistry for a convenient appointment, and explore your options.
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