Millions of people suffer from chronic headaches, unexplained earaches and other facial pain each year. In many cases, dental problems and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are to blame. Few dentists and physicians are trained and experienced at diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders, also known as occlusal disease.
Dr. Raj Upadya of Esthetic Dental Care in Florham Park, NJ is one of the leading dentists in the country for the treatment of TMJ disorders and the complex dental problems that occur as a result of long term TMJ dysfunction.
Most patients who suffer from TMJ dysfunction do not recognize the symptoms or realize that they have a dental related problem. There are a number of factors that contribute to TMJ dysfunction, the most common symptoms include teeth grinding, frequent headaches, neck and facial pain, clicking or popping in the jaw joints, and tooth wear.
TMJ treatment depends entirely on the patient. Dr. Upadya treats TMJ symptoms through a wide range of treatments ranging from splint therapy and night guards to bite correction procedures.
Common Causes of TMJ Disorder
There is no single cause for TMJ dysfunction. Any number of factors or combination of factors may be to blame including:
- Trauma to the head, neck, or face
- Trauma to the TMJ joint or arthritis
- Hormonal changes or imbalances
- Malocclusion (where the jaws do not line up correctly resulting in bite problems)
- Stress and other environmental factors
Common TMJ Symptoms
As with the causes, symptoms of TMJ disorder vary greatly between patients. TMJ symptoms often mask themselves or are similar to those of other medical conditions, making diagnosis extremely difficult. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Shoulder, neck, facial pain
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing jaw
- Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
- Teeth clenching, teeth grinding, often accompanied by tooth wear
- Chronic earaches
Advanced Technology for TMJ Diagnosis & Treatment
Dr. Upadya uses cutting edge technology to help him diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. These advanced technologies allow him to pinpoint the source of the dysfunction for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
The doppler ultrasound is a useful diagnostic tool for TMJ therapy. Dr. Upadya is able to listen to the jaw joints and look for inflammation, instability, or other hidden problems.
Joint Vibration Analysis
Joint Vibration Analysis, or JVA, is an important diagnostic tool for patients with TMJ problems. Similar to a set of headphones, this advanced technology records the vibrations in the jaw joints to pin point signs of instability.
Bio Research EMG
Surface EMG allows Dr. Upadya to record muscle-specific activity in skeletal muscles to identify where problems are occurring in the TMJ system.
The T-Scan is a powerful tool that measures both the timing and relative force of a patients bite. This type of analysis is not possible through traditional diagnostic methods or visual evaluation.
Oral Appliance Therapy for TMJ
TMJ treatment through splints, mouth guards and night guards can help to alleviate the most common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. Dr. Upadya recommends this conservative treatment option for occlusal disorders whenever possible.
An oral appliance is a removable device that helps to keep the teeth and jaw in proper position during sleep and prevent teeth grinding or clenching. Prolonged teeth grinding or clenching can lead to tooth wear and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.