Find Relief from Jaw Pain
Oral pain is impossible to ignore, and can make normal daily tasks such as eating, drinking, and speaking remarkably uncomfortable. While some patients suffer from sensitivity, many others have a more serious underlying condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ disorder. This jaw condition does not only cause persistent pain but can lead to diminished oral health as well. Dr. Michael Bixby treats TMJ disorder at his Red Bank, New Jersey practice using several reconstructive and physical therapy treatments. This comprehensive approach promotes health and comfort for all of his patients. Contact the Michael Bixby Center for Advanced Dentistry today to learn how Dr. Bixby can help you stop suffering from oral pain.
What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder, also known as TMD and Myofascial Pain Dysfunction, is a condition that results when the temporomandibular joint is placed under considerable stress. This can happen for many reasons, but is most commonly associated with jaw misalignment. Although the exact cause of TMJ disorder is unknown, the condition is frequently seen in patients who grind or clench their teeth consistently. It can also develop in individuals who suffer from arthritis, or those who have experienced trauma or injury to the mouth. Because TMJ disorder can manifest itself in many ways, it often goes untreated or misdiagnosed. Some of the common symptoms of TMJ/TMD include:
- Neck and back pain
- A popping sound when opening and closing the mouth
- Worn teeth
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty chewing
Seeking Relief from TMJ Disorder
Treating TMJ disorder is important not only to alleviate discomfort, but also to promote the overall health of the mouth. When the jaw is not properly positioned, it can lead to bite misalignment, shifting of the teeth, and bone deterioration. Each TMJ case is different, and Dr. Bixby will perform a thorough examination at his Red Bank practice to determine which treatment option will work best. As an expert in neuromuscular dentistry, he is able to prescribe treatment that will foster the proper functioning of the muscles, teeth, oral tissues, and nerves. Dr. Bixby uses sophisticated technology to monitor the movement and positioning of the jaw. The Myomonitor K7 uses 3D technology to evaluate the function of the jaw. In addition, Dr. Bixby utilizes a machine known as a TENS Unit (Transcutaneous Electro-Neural Stimulation), which sends low-frequency pulses to the jaw to help the muscles achieve a more relaxed state. Also, these devices enable Dr. Bixby to provide a precise diagnosis and treatment plan. This well-rounded approach effectively treats the condition, rather than simply alleviating symptoms. Some treatment options that Dr. Bixby may employ include:
An orthotic is a mouth piece designed to align the jaw so that it reduces the stress on the Temporomandibular joint. These oral appliances are customized for each patient and may be either fixed on the teeth or removable.
One of the main causes of joint pain is grinding and clenching of the teeth. Many patients grind their teeth at night without even realizing it. A mouth guard will prevent patients from grinding the teeth, therefore decreasing stress on the joint and protecting the teeth from being worn down or damaged.
Dr. Bixby is able to provide high-quality dental restorations that can significantly alter how the teeth, jaw bone, and muscles relate to one another. By placing porcelain restorations or changing the shape of the natural teeth, he can positively manipulate how the mouth functions.
Patients can seek relief from their TMJ symptoms by changing their daily habits. For example, stress can lead to teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and other added pressure on the joints. By remaining aware of stress levels and jaw movements, patients can eliminate discomfort and prevent further damage to the structures of the mouth.
Contact Us Today
Dr. Bixby wants his patients to understand that they don’t have to put up with persistent jaw pain. Through advanced technology and treatment methods, he can diagnose and treat even the most complex TMJ cases. Seeking relief from TMJ disorder will not only increase daily patient comfort, but will promote positive, lasting oral health. Take the first step toward TMJ relief by contacting Dr. Bixby’s Red Bank, New Jersey dental practice today, serving all of Monmouth County.