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TMJ Treatment in Roswell, GA

Located in Roswell and serving Sandy Springs and the greater Atlanta area, JMD Orthodontics and TMJ offers treatment for TMJ.

What Is TMJ?

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, the ball-and-socket joint where the lower jaw meets with the head. TMD is a term for temporomandibular dysfunction, which refers to a constellation of disorders within the joint and a range of conditions causing pain and dysfunction in the head and neck areas including headaches, ear pain, neck pain, eye pain, facial pain, joint noises such as clicking and popping, ringing of the ears, and even visual disturbances and dizziness. TMD is often associated with tight muscles in the neck and shoulders, inflamed joints and ligaments, damage to the joint, teeth and bite problems (malocclusion), clenching of the jaw, grinding of the teeth as well as trauma to the face or jaws. The TMJ is considered one of the most complicated joints in the body for a number of reasons:

1. It is the only sliding-hinge joint in the body

TMJ Anatomy 08052014

 

2. You cannot move one side and leave the other stationary

3. It is a load or weight bearing joint, but considerably smaller than the knee for example;  yet we can generate many pounds per square inch upon clenching, much more than what most people weigh

4. Dislocation of one or both jaw joints is one of the primary contributors to chronic head and neck pain including those headaches of “migraine-like” intensity

5. The integrity of the TM joints is determined and maintained by a person’s dental and facial skeletal relationships early in life

6. The structural position or relationships with the TM joints are primarily determined by the position of one’s teeth

Symptoms of TMJ

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from TMJ:

  • Headaches and neck pain
  • Pain in the jaw joint
  • Unable to open the mouth fully
  • Noise or clicking when opening and closing the mouth
  • Difficulty or pain upcon chewing or swallowing
  • Eye and/or ear pain
  • Congestion in the ears
  • Loose or sensitive teeth
  • Facial pain
  • Clenching and grinding
  • Visual disturbances
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Jaw locking

Treatment for TMJ

Upon your initial visit, a screening x-ray called a tomogram will be obtained for each TM joint to initially assess the “ball and socket” spatial relationships.  Dental and medical history is then obtained to help Dr. Dierkes determine any systemic and/or dental contributions that may be influencing the signs and symptoms of TMD.

A clinical evaluation is performed to determine your range of mouth opening and the relationships of your upper and lower teeth to each other.   The muscles of the head, neck and shoulder areas will be evaluated for any tender areas as well.

Dr. Dierkes will then explain his initial findings and make his initial recommendations for care.  Please refer to All Things Consideredto gain an understanding regarding all factors that may need to be evaluated for the proper care for TMD.  It is this naturopathic or holistic approach to care that has made Dr. Dierkes’ treatment of TMD uniquely successful.  A TMJ appliance is foundationally important, but proper care is considerably more than a mouthpiece or an appliance.   Said in another way, a naturopathic physician will ask the following question:  “What else is going on?”

Treatment for TMJ will vary by patient and be customized to address the specific problems you are experiencing.  Upon consultation, Dr. Dierkes will address your concerns and develop a TMJ treatment plan for you.   We use a conservative, non-surgical approach to treatment, using a naturopathic and holistic avenue to care for the patient while recognizing that the body has an innate ability to heal itself.

We offer the following treatments for patients with TMJ:

  • Splint therapy
  • Assessment of predisposing factors contributing to the onset of TMD
  • Nutritional and hormonal assessments to assist in establishing normal muscle physiology
  • Trigger point injections for referred pain
  • Prolotherapy
  • Botox® to reduce the intensity of muscle contraction
  • Regenerative medicine (PRP – platelet rich plasma) to assist in the repair of a damaged joint

The Condyle/Disc Relationship:

So often, we have referred to internal derangement as if the disc just fell off the condyle.  Rather than considering that the disc has just fallen off the top of the condyle, I think it better to consider what comes first.  In other words, what causes the disc to become displaced.  In my opinion, the condyles or mandible becomes misaligned or displaced relative to the disc.  Once this happens, there may be years of muscular and bodily compensation altering one’s overall posture resulting in the loss of the normal cervical (neck) curvature with attenuation along the entire spine ultimately.  So what causes this misalignment in the first place?  Well, there is general agreement that TMD is multi-factorial, meaning there is no one identifiable cause.  Unfortunately, most surgical intervention or orthodontics for that matter do not even consider condylar head position.  This is tragic as the original underlying problem has not been identified or adequately managed.

Why Choose Dr. Dierkes?

Dr. Dierkes’ expertise in treating chronic head and neck pain associated with TMJ/TMD sets him apart from most orthodontic practices.  Being one of the few if not the only orthodontist who is also a practicing naturopathic physician, Dr. Dierkes is committed to providing patients with a holistic approach to TMJ, orthodontic, and facial esthetic treatments. His “All Things Considered” approach to treatment carefully considers the relationships among teeth, bone, muscles, TMJ, airway, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies and excesses, and endocrine balances and how each will affect the treatment of the patient.

With a holistic approach to the care he provides, Dr. Dierkes believes in patient education and effective communication which allows each patient to make informed choices about their care and treatment as well as fosters a positive working relationship between doctor and patient.  While the naturopathic approach may take more time, the care is better for the patient, and the results extend far beyond TMJ treatment alone to improve the patient’s overall health.

How Much Does TMJ Treatment Cost in Roswell, GA?

The cost of TMJ treatment will vary depending on the type and extent of treatment needed to correct your TMJ issues. To learn more about the cost of TMJ treatment at JMD Orthodontics and TMJ, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dierkes today.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

Dr. J. Michael Dierkes, DDS, MS, NMD is a nationally recognized orthodontic specialist who has been creating beautiful smiles for over 30 years. His services have improved the lives of people from Roswell and the surrounding areas, including residents of Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Marietta, and Atlanta. Whether you are an adult, a child, or a teenager, our knowledgeable staff is committed to helping you achieve the radiant, beautiful smile you deserve. Please call us today to schedule your initial consultation!

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