If you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, or more commonly known as TMJ, you know just how painful and life-altering its symptoms can be. Living with TMJ can mean battling painful symptoms on a daily basis such as chronic headaches, face and jaw pain, and even neck, shoulder and back pain.
The condition is caused by your jaw joints and muscles having a poor relationship with the nerves in your neck and head. If your jaw joints and/or muscles are misaligned in even the slightest way, the nerves in your face, neck, and head send pain signals throughout these areas causing you near constant distress.
At Adler Advanced Dentistry in Boulder, Dr. Michael Adler uses neuromuscular dentistry to understand the underlying issues that are causing your TMJ. This line of dentistry is used to understand the relationship between the hard and soft tissues of your mouth, as well as the adjacent muscles and nerves so that Dr. Adler can find the most comfortable and relaxed position for your jaw.
Because the key to alleviating TMJ-related pain is to properly align your jaw and bite, Dr. Adler will perform diagnostic tests to help determine the best treatment plan for your specific circumstance. He does this by administering a K7 evaluation, which uses electromyography and joint sonopraphy to find the ideal resting point of your jaw. He may also use the advanced technology of the Newtom dental 3D imaging system to take comprehensive images of the bones, muscles, and tissues in your mouth. By tracking your jaw’s position and the surrounding muscles he can better understand which treatment will best help optimal functioning for you.
After your evaluation, the first step is generally the use of a fixed or removable neuromuscular orthotic device, which helps move your jaw into its optimal positioning. Based on the level of your condition, you will then visit our office every week or two weeks for adjustment and additional therapy, which may include:
- TENS therapy: TENS, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation helps the muscles in your jaw to relax and detox.
- Physical therapy: Dr. Adler will perform neck and shoulder stretches to release fluid in your joints to create space in your vertebrae and release tension from neuromuscular imbalances.
- Trigger point injection therapy: These injections of lidocaine and anti-inflammatory medicine are injected into points in the body that are experiencing acute pain or spasms as a result of TMJ. This can offer great pain relief to those with acute back or shoulder pain caused by chronic grinding of teeth and poor bite.
- Myofunctional therapy: This therapy is used if there is improper functioning of your tongue and face muscles.
Once your symptoms have been managed, the next stage of treatment will involve either neuromuscular orthodontics or a full mouth reconstruction. Dr. Adler will work with your throughout the entire process so that you can feel confident knowing you’re receiving the best treatment for your specific condition.
If you’d like to learn more about the treatment options we offer at Adler Advanced Dentistry, please contact us by filling out the form on this page or by calling us at to set up your free consultation. We provide services to those who live in and near the Boulder, Colorado area.