TMJ symptoms can be distracting and quite painful. By choosing the right treatment for you, our Boston TMJ dentists can alleviate this pain. We begin by identifying the source of your symptoms, whether related to your bite or a habit of teeth grinding. Then, we determine the most effective treatment.
Planning Your TMJ Treatment
Our Boston TMJ dentists start the treatment process by relaxing your jaw using the best in TMJ technologies. We use a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device to relax your facial muscles and relieve your TMJ pain. When your jaw is relaxed, we can establish its ideal position. In this position, your temporomandibular joints are properly aligned and your teeth come together properly when you bite down.
In certain cases, we may use K7 technology to track the movement of your jaw while it is relaxed. In this way, we can see how your jaw is functioning and how it relates to any TMJ pain you are experiencing.
After establishing a relaxed, pain-free jaw position, our Boston dentist may suggest an orthotic device. These customized devices place your jaws in the position we want to achieve. An orthotic looks like a tray, and it fits over your upper or lower teeth to hold your jaws in the desired position.
A removable orthotic is typically worn on the lower teeth. A fixed or non-removable orthotic usually fits over the upper and lower teeth. Depending on your treatment plan, you may need to wear the orthotic device 24 hours a day or only at night. You wear the orthotic for as long as it takes to relieve all of your symptoms, which is sometimes a period of several months. Then, we will begin the second phase of treatment to permanently establish the ideal bite position reached with the orthotic device.
Establishing the Ideal Jaw Position
To restore your bite, various dental restorations may be used, including:
With dental restorations, we can raise or lower the vertical dimension of your bite. A collapsed bite or uneven biting surfaces may be the source of your TMJ symptoms.
If your jaw pain, headaches and other symptoms are a result of teeth grinding or clenching – a common condition called bruxism – and not a bite problem, then a night guard may be recommended. You wear the customized mouth guard while you sleep, and it prevents your teeth from grinding together.
If you live in Cambridge, Boston or the surrounding areas of Massachusetts and want to find out if TMJ treatment is right for you, please contact Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry to schedule a consultation. Call our Boston TMJ dentists at (781) 350-4385.