Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
General Dentistry Expertise
Temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD) is a common affliction, but it is also commonly misdiagnosed because it shares many symptoms with other conditions. TMJ (TMD) is often the result of a misaligned jaw, which can impact the nerves, muscles, tendons and bone in the connective region between your jaw and skull, resulting in a number of chronic, progressively painful symptoms.
Philadelphia dentist Dr. Lindsey Marshall has extensive training and practical experience in the field of neuromuscular dentistry, and can determine the source of your TMJ (TMD) as well as develop an individualized treatment plan to bring your jaw into proper alignment and relieve your discomfort.
Signs of TMJ (TMD)
As its name suggests, temporomandibular joint disorder is centered around the temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw bone to your skull. Within this roughly coin-size connective area is the trigeminal nerve, which plays a role in biting, chewing and swallowing, as well as registering sensation in your face.
When your jaw is misaligned, it can result in various types of bite conditions and put undue stress on the corresponding network of nerves, muscles and joints, causing symptoms including:
- Difficulty biting, chewing or swallowing
- Earaches and/or ringing ears
- Face, neck, back and shoulder pain
- Jaw clicking and/or popping
- Jaw pain and/or tension
- Jaw sticking and/or locking
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers
- Severe headaches
Due to the fact that many of these signs are also attributed to migraines, arthritis, sinus ailments and periodontal disease among other conditions, TMJ (TMD) is frequently misdiagnosed by physicians and dentists without training in neuromuscular dentistry.
TMJ Diagnosis and Treatment
Left untreated, TMJ (TMD) can lead to increasing discomfort, depression and dental health problems. Fortunately, there are a number of TMJ (TMD) treatment options available that can be customized to your specific needs.
Using the latest dental technology, Philadelphia neuromuscular dentist Dr. Marshall will conduct a thorough exam that will include mapping the movements of your jaw and examining how your jaw and skull are connected. This exam will help determine your jaw’s properly aligned position and serve as the basis for your custom TMJ (TMD) treatment plan.
A number of factors including your specific alignment issue and your overall dental health play a role in deciding what treatment option is best for you. TMJ (TMD) treatment may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation (TENS) therapy
- Reconstructive dental procedures
- Stopping bad oral health habits such as ice chewing or pen biting