Are you experiencing frequent headaches, migraine symptoms, pain while eating, neck aches, tooth sensitivity or clicking and popping sounds when opening and closing your mouth? These are all symptoms of TMJ/TMD, temporomandibular joint disorders. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 10 million Americans are affected by these painful conditions with a greater percentage of women suffering than men.
TMJ Disorders: Often Misunderstood and Painful But Highly Treatable
“The human jaw is a complex joint, and TMJ Disorders have many causes,” explains Dr. Jill Smith, founder of Dental Health & Wellness Boston. “In my experience there are six main categories of TMJ problems we commonly see. They include: 1) traumatic injury or strain from over use 2) arthritic joint deterioration as a result of osteo or rheumatoid arthritis 3) muscle pain and spasm in the muscles of the face, head and neck from grinding or clenching called bruxism 4) dislocation or derangement of the cartilage disc in the joint 5) joint problems and difficulty chewing caused by bite changes or missing teeth and lastly 6) congenital or developmental malformations of the jaw itself. Accurate diagnosis is the first step in getting the help you need. Once we have determined the cause of your pain, my team at Dental Health & Wellness Boston can advise you on a variety of treatments and dental procedures to help”.
“In the case of accidental injury or trauma, we recommend treatment similar to other orthopedic injuries,” says Dr. Smith. “We compile a thorough history of your health and perform an examination to assess the extent of the injury and if needed, take x-rays or use other imaging to rule out fractures. Treatment options for injuries of the jaw include applying cold ice packs if the injury is new to decrease swelling, taking anti-inflammatory medications like Motrin or Advil, and resting the jaw by eating soft foods. In some cases, we prescribe the use of a dental appliance for a short time to rest the jaw and place it in a comfortable position while the injury heals. Examples of this type of TMJ injuries we see in our practice are a result of contact sports, automobile accidents, difficult removal of wisdom teeth and even falling on the ice”.
Dental Health and Wellness Boston: Simply Boston’s Best Dental Practice for Whole Body Wellness
Dental Health & Wellness Boston has an extensive physician referral network for jaw problems that result from arthritis in the joint, and in some cases a physician is consulted to help with the diagnosis. Arthritic changes from the more common form of arthritis called osteoarthritis can be diagnosed with x-rays of the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is a complicated autoimmune process that affects the whole body. Often a medical specialist known as a rheumatologist can provide medications to decrease the inflammation and control or slow the process that is occurring. “With patients who suffer from arthritic complications, my role as a dentist is to assist in minimizing discomfort, and in certain circumstances, fitting an appliance to place the jaw in a comfortable position,” says Dr. Smith.
Dr. Smith Changes Lives Through Adult Orthodontics and Complex Dental Reconstruction
For patients with bite changes or missing teeth, Dental Health and Wellness Boston offers dental solutions that restore self esteem and change lives. After a complete diagnosis, treatment options will be developed to restore your mouth and achieve your goals. Tooth replacement can range from dental implants to bridges to removable partial dentures. Sometimes orthodontics or complex reconstructions are required to repair the teeth and allow the jaw to function normally. Factors such as the number of teeth missing, the condition of the remaining teeth, and the amount of shifting and bite collapse will impact the complexity of the dental work required. Finances can also influence treatment choices. Reconstructive work can be quite costly, but the good news is that there are several options to help relieve your pain and allow you to chew and live normally again.
Migraine and TMJ/TMD Treatments: A Specialty At This Highly Respected Boston Dentist
The most exciting and often the most rewarding treatments are for patients with tension headaches and migraines associated with clenching and grinding of the teeth. At Dental Health and Wellness Boston, countless patients have been treated with the NTI Tension Suppression System for TMJ/TMD. This FDA-approved non-surgical, non-drug treatment is a small custom-fitted device that is placed on the patient’s upper or lower teeth and is worn while sleeping. By reducing the intensity of teeth clenching and decreasing nerve tension, the device directly lowers the occurrence of headaches and migraines. With so many stories from patients who have been able to reduce or eliminate the need for migraine prevention medications and pain medications by using this device, the practice has gained its well deserved reputation as being one of Boston’s best dentists to treat migraines from bruxism. Dr. Alan Budd, a valued member of the Dental Health and Wellness Boston dental team, has been featured on the local television news and has guest lectured at dental conferences and to other dentists explaining the benefits of this unique treatments. The cost of the treatment ranges from $550 to $1000 and the result can be life changing.
For Expert Care and Advice, Turn to Dental Health and Wellness Boston
In cases such as disc derangement, congenital or developmental malformation, or complicated cases that do not resolve with conventional treatment, a referral will be made to a physician or dental specialist at either the Massachusetts General Hospital or the Craniofacial Pain Clinic at Tufts University, whom we work closely with, to get you the care you need. Being located in Boston gives our patients access to some of the best medical care in the world for TMJ/TMD problems. Treatments for theses cases can include surgical intervention, orthotic appliances, biofeedback, TENs therapies, and more.
At Dental Health and Wellness Boston, we practice a whole body approach to wellness and well-being. Whether you suffer from TMJ/TMD or any condition that interferes with your everyday life, we are here to help.