Headaches, Jaw Pain, and Beyond: Unveiling the Hidden Signs of TMJ

Transforming Lives Through Non-Surgical TMJ Treatment in Springfield, MO

Are you tired of dealing with chronic migraine headaches or tension headaches that won't go away? Have you tried everything from allergy treatments to vision checks, stress management, and even neurological evaluations but still find no relief? It's time to consider a different approach.

In Springfield, Missouri, Dr. Randi Green, an expert in physiologic dentistry, specializes in diagnosing and treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), commonly referred to as TMJ. Suppose you're suffering from persistent headaches and other related symptoms. In that case, it might be worth exploring the benefits of working with a physiologic dentist like Dr. Green before resorting to surgery, medication, or injections.

Understanding the Connection Between Headaches and TMJ

People suffering from chronic headaches often turn to medications as a quick fix. However, they may not realize that the root cause of their pain could be related to their teeth, jaw joints, and muscles not functioning in harmony. This misalignment can lead to various symptoms, including tension headaches and migraines.

When your teeth, jaw joints, and muscles are not in balance, it can result in headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, tooth pain, and the annoying popping and clicking of the jaw. These symptoms are often signs of TMJ disorders.

The Elusive Nature of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders are known as the "Great Imposter" because their symptoms can mimic various other health conditions. For instance, persistent headaches may lead individuals to consult their general practitioners or eye doctors. 

Likewise, localized pain in the shoulders, neck, or back might prompt a visit to a specialist. Even earaches or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can be related to TMJ issues.

When conventional practitioners cannot identify the source of the pain, the usual prescription is painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications. However, these treatments address the symptoms and do not provide a long-term solution for TMJ-related pain.

A Holistic Approach to TMJ Pain Treatment

Dr. Randi Green wants her patients to understand that TMJ pain can manifest in various ways, affecting the head, neck, jaw, upper back, and arms. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seeking help from a physiologic TMJ dentist can be a game-changer.

With Dr. Green's extensive training in physiologic dentistry, she offers a holistic approach to treating TMJ disorders. Her focus is on eliminating the root cause of your pain, not just masking the symptoms. Notably, her treatments are non-surgical, providing relief without invasive procedures.

If you've been suffering from TMJ-related pain and are seeking a lasting solution, please get in touch with Dr. Randi Green. A simple physiologic exam could make a life-changing difference, offering hope and relief from chronic pain. 

Don't let persistent headaches control your life – take the first step towards a pain-free future by contacting us today.

Unlocking the Secrets of Non-Surgical TMJ Treatment

  • Are you looking in the mirror and noticing that your teeth have become shorter over time?
  • Are you bothered by a persistent ringing in your ears?
  • Perhaps you've been plagued by frequent stress headaches.

A bad bite could lead to the following symptoms of the TMJ which can lead to TMD and dysfunction of the craniomandibular system.

    • headaches/ migraines
    • unexplained loose teeth
    • worn, chipped or cracked teeth
    • pain or soreness around the jaw joints
    • pain in teeth that seems to move around
    • neck, shoulder or back pain
    • facial pain
    • clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joints
    • limited movement or locking jaw
    • numbness in fingers and arms
    • congestion or stuffiness of the ears

If it is determined that your bad bite and occlusal disease is the cause of your pain, there are various treatment options available to correct your bite and alleviate pain and discomfort.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you may be experiencing the symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, commonly known as TMD. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a complex structure within the intricate framework of bones that works in harmony with various body areas. When this joint doesn't function properly, it can lead to multiple issues.

TMD is an umbrella term that encompasses symptoms like headaches, facial pain, and TMJ jaw pain. Clicking or popping of the jaw and limited jaw movement are also common signs of joint problems. Other symptoms of TMD extend to dental issues, manifesting as sore, worn, broken, or chipped teeth. Moreover, temporomandibular joint dysfunction can result in neck, shoulder, and back pain and ear-related problems such as ringing (tinnitus) and restricted airway.

You may be skeptical about the connection between your teeth and issues like ear ringing or persistent headaches. Surprisingly, many cases of TMD are rooted in a condition known as malocclusion, where the teeth don't align correctly. Malocclusion includes problems like underbites, overbites, crowding, or spacing. Even missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift, resulting in malocclusion. Some individuals may have naturally straight or orthodontically treated teeth, yet they may not be positioned comfortably within the supporting muscles and joints, leading to TMD symptoms.

Neuromuscular dentistry delves into the intricate system of teeth, muscles, and jaw joints, exploring how these elements come together in the bite or occlusion. When the physiologic system falls out of balance due to misaligned teeth, the muscles and joints must work overtime to bring the teeth into contact. This prolonged effort can lead to muscle soreness and structural problems in the teeth and jaw joints.

Physiologic dentistry follows a non-surgical TMJ therapy approach, prioritizing the physiology of muscles, joints, nerves, and teeth before treatment begins.

The initial phase (Phase 1) of treatment involves a comprehensive assessment of the teeth, jaw joints, neck muscles, airway, and supporting muscles to determine if the presented symptoms are related to dental issues. Once confirmed, the first phase of TMJ treatment commences.

Physiologic-based dentistry focuses on achieving a comfortable muscle position through reversible therapy before any definitive treatment is applied. The muscles are relaxed using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, which gently stimulates the muscles to overcome their programming from functioning in the previous maladaptive position. Once the muscles reach a relaxed state, the comfortable jaw position is recorded and used to create a removable appliance.

This removable appliance is worn for several months until the muscles find comfort in their new position. In severe cases, the neuromuscular general dentist may employ jaw tracking devices and electromyography to monitor muscle activity and ensure the muscles attain their proper comfortable position.

Once TMD symptoms are alleviated, the second phase of treatment begins. Phase II therapy aims to align the bite with the comfortable muscle position established during the initial treatment phase. Treatment options in this phase may involve creating an overlay partial/appliance or adjusting the natural tooth structure if the bite requires only minor correction.

When the teeth are aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound, specially trained dentists like Dr. Randi Green can perform neuromuscular orthodontics to align the bite correctly. If aesthetic improvements are necessary alongside bite correction, porcelain restorations are used to restore the bite to its new position.

If you identify with any of the questions mentioned earlier, there's hope for relieving your pain and discomfort. While various approaches can treat TMD, neuromuscular dentistry has helped many individuals who once suffered from this often debilitating condition.

By initially addressing the root cause—the muscles—through reversible methods, patients benefit from symptom relief before pursuing extensive and costly treatments.

If you're grappling with TMD symptoms, choosing a provider who stays up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field is crucial. Dr. Randi Green, an LVI Fellow, has completed extensive advanced training at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. This institute is the leading global center for dental education in aesthetics and TMD treatment.

Through her ongoing training, Dr. Green showcases her commitment to excellence in education and applying her passion and knowledge to caring for her patients in the Springfield, MO, area. If you're seeking a compassionate and knowledgeable dentist for TMD treatment, contact us today for a consultation with Dr. Green.

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