TMJ is often a debilitating condition that lessens the quality of patient's lives, whether it is in the form of headaches and migraines or pain with clicking and popping. There are many non-surgical ways to treat TMJ. In fact, proper treatment can help patient's get off medications that often make them feel groggy and lethargic further compromising their daily lives. Most cases of TMJ can be treated non-surgically and this begins with a correct diagnosis of the condition. Simply putting a splint in place will not resolve these issues or allow for long term health.
Diagnosis can range from pure muscle imabalance to degenerative disc issues in the jaw joint to neck and ear issues compounding the problems. In fact, many patients often noticed some facial assymetry changing their face. A throrough exam should include:
-discussion of the symptoms
,-how long problem has been going on
- past dental treatment,
- airway or breathing problems (sleep apnea too)
-cervical and/or back issues and neck exam
-examination of the joint, muscles, teeth
-3D scan of head and jaw joints ( when properly mapped, this allows for one to see the joints, cervical spine,
From this information, most of the time patients can be treated non-surgically with correct jaw-repositioning methods which can include appliances that are fixed or removable. Patients should be able to eat, chew, and function without jaw or neck pain and in the absence of headaches as well. The correct physiologic jaw position should not be determined arbitrarily, rather the use of computerized technology and muscle relaxation methods can help to find this position and also to place the joints in a more favorable place. Once comfort and long term stability have been attained, often a second phase of treatment is indicated to move the teeth to this correct jaw position. There are several ways this can be done.
In retrospect, there are many methods that have allowed treatment for most patients without surgery. If you have any questions about Houston TMJ treatment or TMJ Houston, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF 713-668-2289.