TMJ Therapy 2018-05-10T20:17:12+00:00

TMJ Therapy

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

TMD is a common subgroup of orofacial pain disorders, often incorrectly referred to as “TMJ”. TMJ is the abbreviation used for the temporomandibular joint or jaw joint.

View the video below from the American Dental Association about TMD.

TMD SYMPTOMS

Pain or discomfort in or around the ear, jaw joint, and/or muscles of the jaw, face, temples and neck on one or both sides. The pain may arise suddenly and progress with fluctuating frequency and intensity over months to years. Clicking, popping, grating (crepitus), locking, limited opening or deviating jaw movement, chewing difficulties, and headache are also associated with TMD.

Causes for TMD are unclear as TMD usually involves more than a single symptom and rarely has a single cause. TMD is believed to result from several factors acting together, including jaw injuries (trauma), and joint disease (arthritis). Tooth clenching and grinding (bruxism) and head and neck muscle tension, while not scientifically proven to be a cause of TMD, may perpetuate TMD symptoms and often need to be controlled to reduce and manage TMD. It is important for the TMD patient to understand that the disorder can be chronic in nature and highly dependent upon multiple factors including emotional stability. Because there is no “quick fix” or immediate cure for TMD, the most successful and scientifically supported treatments focus on self-management and control of the aggravating factors.

Treatment Options

OCCLUSAL SPLINTS

It may be recommended that you wear an orthotic (also known as a splint, night guard, bite guard) that fits over either your upper or lower teeth. Splints are used to temporarily provide an occlusal condition that allows the TMJs to assume the most orthopedically stable joint position while clenching. Since this is more intense while we sleep, we only recommend wearing the splint at night. During the day we advise patients to avoid clenching and be aware of oral habits.

SPLINTS PROVIDE:

  • Occlusal stability while clenching
  • Joint stability
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Teeth protection

STRESS MANAGEMENT

One treatment approach for your TMD problem is to learn to manage your daily stress. Your doctor may recommend several techniques to help you do this. They may include biofeedback, relaxation breathing, guided imagery, and sometimes referral to a therapist.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Physical therapists are trained professionals who help rehabilitate all types of physical injuries. There are many different techniques that are helpful and the most common include jaw exercises, postural and ergonomic training, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and mobilization. Your doctor and physical therapist will work together to formulate a plan for your treatment.

OCCLUSAL CORRECTION

Sometimes it is necessary to improve the way your teeth fit together. This can be accomplished in different ways.

Orthodontics, usually with braces, can move your teeth so they fit together better. In some cases, if the jaws themselves are misaligned, the jaws are moved with a combination of orthodontics and oral surgery called orthognathic surgery.

Bite Reconstruction is accomplished through extensive dental work like crowns, bridges and, if indicated, implants. This is done to replace missing teeth or to change the size and shape of the teeth so they fit and function together in a more harmonious manner with the jaw joints and muscles.

If you have been experiencing any or all of the symptoms mentioned above, CALL 608-222-8080 OR CLICK TODAY TO REQUEST AN  APPOINTMENT.

Get a jump on your visit by filling out paperwork or update your insurance and contact information with our online forms.

Whether you are a first time patient or a returning patient, call us at (608) 222-8080 or click to request an appointment.

What Our Patients Are Saying

My family and I have been patients of Dr. Kirkpatrick for 18 years! We love the people there and as a previously ‘nervous’ dental patient I can say I honestly have no fear there. Recently Dr. To performed a crown and as with Dr. K., it was an easy experience for me. She did extra bit of cosmetic work on a front tooth crack and in past the 2 dentists have done simple things like smooth a fringed tooth that was wearing away a bit so as to improve the look of my smile, on the house! Who does this kind of customer service anymore? DOORCREEK DENTAL THAT’S WHO! From young children through concerns adults have regarding aging teeth DoorCreek covers everyone’s needs.

Beth K.

Door Creek Dental – professional, personable and positive Our family has relied on Door Creek Dental for dental care for years. We appreciate the pleasant and professional manner in this office as well as the great chair-side manner of hygienists, nurses and doctors. I am confident that Dr. Kirkpatrick is practical and knowledgeable in making viable recommendations that are exactly what I need to maintain good oral health. Dr. Kirkpatrick’s wit and respectful banter while smiling staff look on makes me feel I’m among friends in addition to receiving good dental care. Overall, my experience with Door Creek Dental has always been positive. We will continue with Door Creek Dental in the future.

Kathleen L.

I use to hate going to the Dentist! Since I met Michelle my hygienist I actually enjoy going regularly to see her! She has taken my teeth from bad to really really nice in just a few visits. Great Dr and office staff! Highly recommended!!

Ron C.

My first time visit to Door Creek Dental office was THE BEST. Brittany and Dr. Kirkpatrick made me feel very comfortable and ‘at home’. My cleaning and my examination was very thorough. I’m looking forward to my next visit in August. My second visit to Door Creek Dental was as good as the first! To begin with the staff at the front desk are THE BEST. Their easy, happy manner puts one at ease immediately. I met Jennifer for the first time. She took time to get to know me and then did a thorough cleaning. I’m happy to have located a great dental team.

Jill V.

Can’t say enough good things about staff and doctors here. They got me in for an emergency tooth issue with little problem. Have been with them since before Dr. Kirkpatrick came on board. Never have had bad experience ever. Most of extended family also go here. We travel from out of state to receive treatment from them, that is how much we think of them and their service.

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