Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
Do you experience a strange ringing in your ears on a regular basis? Do you suffer from migraine headaches, but migraine medication offers little to no relief? Do your jaws ache when you chew? Do they pop, click or sometimes lock in place? Do you have neck or back pain that mystifies your chiropractor or regular physician? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you could have temporomandibular joint disorder. Also known as TMJ, this disorder is one of the most mysterious and difficult to diagnose ailments in all of medical science. However, relief can be found by visiting a neuromuscular dentist—like the ones on staff at Laser Dentistry of Erie, LLC.
Not every dentist is trained to identify a case of TMJ. In fact, in many instances, a patient with TMJ reports that their symptoms had been overlooked or misdiagnosed by another medical professional.
However, a neuromuscular dentist is the most qualified medical professional to identify TMJ, make a proper diagnosis, and treat the condition and any symptoms. If you would like to be evaluated by a neuromuscular dentist and you live in the area of Erie, PA, call (814) 825-2615 to schedule a consultation.
Here is some more background information for patients about neuromuscular dentistry, and its importance.
What is neuromuscular dentistry and why is it important?
A neuromuscular dentist seeks to correct any alignment problems with the bite and jaw of a patient, and restore harmony to that system of your body. When your jaw is misaligned, a neuromuscular dentist can perform an evaluation for signs of damage.
A neuromuscular dentist is trained not only in basic general dentistry but also possesses the knowledge to treat the entire system of hard and soft tissue of the mouth—including the jawbone and temporomandibular joint, which are most often affected during a case of TMJ. Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialty of the science that requires extensive post-graduate study after completing normal dental school.
No medical professional is better prepared to diagnose and treat a case of TMJ than a neuromuscular dentist.
The right tools for the job
The neuromuscular dentists at Laser Dentistry of Erie, LLC, use BioPak as part of their program of TMJ diagnosis and treatment. BioPak is a complete system that monitors a range of parameters of the stomatognathic system, including the function of the jaw and muscles of mastication. Information obtained by using the BioPak helps diagnose and treat TMJ, while also proving valuable in the diagnosis of certain sleep breathing disorders and other sources of craniofacial pain.
Our neuromuscular staff also will use jaw tracking and other tools such as electromyography to compose a comprehensive picture of the hard and soft tissues in your jaw, identifying any problems and then treating TMJ if the disorder is detected.
What are the consequences of TMJ if it goes untreated?
TMJ is not a condition that simply will go away on its own. If it goes undiagnosed or untreated, the problem is only going to get worse. The most common symptom of TMJ is pain, which often can be chronic and severe enough to be debilitating, impairing your ability to function on a daily basis. When the muscles of the jaw start to enter a state of dysfunction, this can impact the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. One nerve that is often impacted by a case of TMJ is the trigeminal nerve, which carries more sensory input to the brain than any neural pathway. The trigeminal nerve also is linked to many cases of migraine headaches, which is why TMJ patients often complain of headaches of migraine-like intensity or, prior to diagnosis, complain of headaches that they think are migraines but do not respond to traditional treatment methods for migraine relief. Click here to learn more about TMJ headaches, or how TMJ headaches differ from migraines.
TMJ also can lead to difficulty with the range of motion of your jaw, while also wearing down or damaging your teeth. Over time, the consequences of a case of TMJ spread throughout your body. Since your jaw muscles work together with your neck muscles to keep the spine aligned, long-term ramifications of an untreated case of TMJ might include pinched nerves, misaligned cervical vertebrae, and even numbness in your extremities.
Click here for a more comprehensive list of the symptoms of TMJ.
Why live with that risk? If you live near Lake Erie or the surrounding area and you think you might be suffering from TMJ, visit the office of Laser Dentistry of Erie, LLC, for a consultation.
Have any more questions about TMJ? If so, click here, or to learn more about how we treat and diagnose TMJ, contact our office by calling (814) 825-2615.
Laser Dentistry of Erie, LLC, is proud to serve patients in Erie, PA, and the surrounding areas.