TMJ Therapy in Los Alamitos
If you are suffering from temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) symptoms, you are not alone! Although the vast majority of Americans suffer from TMJ, most do not relate their pain and symptoms to bad occlusion or bite. Many people with TMJ are not diagnosed as having the disorder, and, as a result, they are not treated correctly.
When the teeth, facial muscles, and temporomandibular joints are out of alignment, the symptoms of TMJ/TMD arise. Luckily, there is help for people who suffer from TMJ-related pain, such as unexplained headaches, restless nights, and difficulty opening and chewing. By relaxing the muscles that move your jaw, Dr. Poe can reposition your bite to it’s optimal state, putting it in harmony with the jaw joint, facial muscles, and your teeth. The results lead to the immediate relief of pain and, in many cases, the reduction or elimination of current medications.
If you would like to learn more about neuromuscular dentistry, contact Orange County cosmetic dentist Dr. William Poe today.
Headaches and Your Bite
The muscles of the forehead play an important role in the positioning and closing of the jaw. If your bite is out of alignment, it can lead to tension in these muscles - a possible cause of tension headaches. If your bite is not corrected, the muscles may remain tense for long periods of time, resulting in painful headaches. Fortunately for headache sufferers, new technology allows Dr. Poe to evaluate these muscles and determine if your bite is the possible cause of your headache pain.
If, after a physical examination, Dr. Poe determines that your bite is the cause of your headache pain, he may recommend that you wear an orthotic device. An orthotic is a custom made acrylic appliance that is worn over your teeth to adjust your bite to a correct alignment. Once you have worn the orthotic for a certain amount of time, both you and Dr. Poe will know for sure if the new bite position has resolved the headache problem. Without the pain and discomfort of headaches, Dr. Poe can help you decide which of several long term treatments options are best for you.
If you are suffering from frequent headaches and suspect that your bite may be causing your pain, contact Dr. William Poe in Orange County today.
TMJ Therapy FAQs
It may be surprising to hear, but many people have bite problems and don’t even realize it until they start to notice chronic discomfort in their jaw, head or upper body. If you are unfamiliar with TMJ disorder, this all might sound very foreign to you and leave you with more questions than answers. Thankfully, Dr. Poe is more than happy to answer the most common questions he receives regarding TMJ therapy below. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact his office directly.
How Do I Know If My TMJ is Causing the Pain?
TMJ disorder often goes misdiagnosed or completely missed during a routine physical. The best way to know for sure is to visit someone who has studied the jaw and its relationship with the rest of the body for many years like Dr. Poe has. It’s difficult to diagnose a condition that is know for causing a large variety of symptoms, but Dr. Poe can effectively rule out or pinpoint TMJ through his expertise.
What Does the Treatment Process Entail?
When you first arrive, Dr. Poe performs a detailed and comprehensive consultation. This includes not just asking you about your symptoms, but analyzing them further to determine their source. He’ll X-ray your jaw joints to see if there’s undue stress being applied to them and use this information to create a personalized treatment plan that’s unique to you. At the end of the day, his goal is to make sure that your short-term and long-term symptoms eventually disappear. The result is not just a pain-free jaw, but a daily life free of headaches and upper body pain.
How Long Does Treatment Take to Work?
While every patient has a different experience, the time treatment will take depends on how severe your TMJ disorder is and what caused the condition in the first place. During your initial visit, Dr. Poe will explain how long you can expect treatment to take before it starts showing results. In some cases, patients can actually start feeling relief only a week or so after receiving and using their orthotic device. No matter what it takes to find the right treatment for you, we are not a practice that rushes your care. Addressing the source of the discomfort is the number-one priority for Dr. Poe.
Will My Chronic Discomfort Ever Come Back?
If there is future muscle tension or an injury occurs to your jaw, the discomfort can come back despite receiving treatment. Furthermore, if you stop wearing the device prescribed to you, either because it becomes damaged or you simply forget to use it regularly, your muscles will continue to tense up and cause chronic discomfort. These are known as TMD flare-ups and can occur at any time. When you visit our practice for care and follow all instructions provided by our office, you can reduce the likelihood of this occurring.