First we undertake a detailed assessment to identify the cause or causes of the problem.
Our approach at Lotus Dental is neuromuscular, which looks at the interconnections between the jaw joints, muscles and teeth.
Our TMJ treatment is focused on:
- Returning the joints and discs to a centred, balanced position in the temporal fossa of the skull
- Relaxing the muscles
- Having the teeth (bite) support the relaxed, neuromuscularly balanced position of the muscles and joints.
We have a range of techniques available to us, depending on the underlying cause of the problem.
An occlusal splint is an acrylic wafer that fits over the top of the lower or upper teeth in order to alter the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. It is often used to relocate the jaw to a physiological rest position and relax the muscles, until stability and relief of symptoms is achieved. Sometimes wearing this at night time is all that is needed for full resolution of symptoms, particularly if the primary cause is night time grinding (bruxism).
Aqualizer temporary splint
The Aqualizer temporary splint is often used as a diagnostic tool to see if a splint is likely to help the symptoms.
The muscles and neck may also need to be treated with adjunctive physical therapies and we may advise nutritional support such as magnesium to help them relax.
Merging with other techniques
Several techniques may be needed to alter the way the teeth fit together to finalize the bite so that the corrected jaw position can be maintained:
- occlusal equilibration – balancing the bite through reshaping the teeth
- occlusal overlays (these are bonded porcelain/ceramic build-ups) to increase the height of the bite and reposition the joints
- crowns (caps) on one or several teeth
- orthodontics – moving the teeth
- bridges, implants or partial denture to replace missing teeth.
After reconstructing the bite relationship using one of the above methods, the patient’s teeth will place the jaw together in a position that corresponds to the physiological rest position of the muscles…
Now the muscles can relax when the jaws are closed, eliminating fatigue, cramping and other associated symptoms.
TMJ Syndrome, although not a threat to longevity, can cause a lifetime of suffering. Through increased awareness of TMJ and appropriate treatment, the quality of life for people with this syndrome can be greatly enhanced.
If you are seeking effective, state-of-the-art treatment of TMJ or chronic headaches in Sydney, call or email us to make an appointment.