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TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)

Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMJ is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. The vast majority of TMJ sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that a dentist can effectively treat.

The symptoms of TMJ are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well being of the patient is at the heart of the dental practice, so pain relief is the first consideration of the dentist. Dr. Fracolli is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.

Reasons for treating TMJ

TMJ sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.

The most common cause of TMJ is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” It may be possible for Dr. Fracolli to fabricate an appliance that is worn at night to relieve the symptoms without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. 

The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMJ is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.

It is important for those experiencing the symptoms of TMJ to visit Dr. Fracolli for an exact diagnosis.

What does treating TMJ involve?

TMJ could be a result of several different problems. Bad bite is the most common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, Dr. Fracolli will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patients bite, take x-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.

Once a firm diagnosis is attained, there are several ways in which relief can be provided.  Palliative treatment including non-steroidal antiinflammatory medications, reducing caffeine use, and hot/cold treatments to the sore muscles may be helpful. A specially molded splint can be created to stop teeth grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended by Dr. Fracolli.  

A better option is to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely, often called “full mouth reconstruction.” This is especially useful because it alleviates TMJ symptoms and may improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Reconstruction involves adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth come together with the lower teeth. This may require new restorations and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well.  As with any procedure, Dr. Fracolli will be happy to answer questions and discuss symptoms, options, and treatments.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.