TMJ Therapy

Introduction

TMJ Syndrome is a condition that occurs when the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the upper and lower jaws or chewing muscles are stressed. This can cause: pain in the jaw, face, neck and shoulders, and headaches. The causes of TMJ require careful analysis. Once the causes have been determined, treatment options will be explained. Dr. Sasaki has successfully treated TMJ symptoms for twenty-six years.

Treatment of TMJ Pain

TMJ treatment, referred to by some dentists as therapy, include many options depending upon the cause of the problem. The first step is to relieve the pain. After an examination, Dr. Sasaki will inform you of the appropriate treatment. Once the symptoms are gone and the muscles are relaxed, the bite is analyzed to determine treatment options to correct the bite.

Bite Splint for Pain Relief

TMJ bite splint is a custom made, hard plastic protector that slips over the upper or lower teeth.

This is an important first step in TMJ pain relief. The bite splint minimizes and/or eliminates pain due to clenching or grinding. Dr. Sasaki will make a mold of your upper and lower teeth to custom-fit your TMJ splint for maximum comfort.

Jaw Exercises

TMJ exercises are designed to relax the jaw and eliminate clenching, and also to help in the correction of alignment problems. After careful analysis, Dr. Sasaki may provide you with an appropriate series of very simple exercises to be performed in front of a mirror. The use of a mirror in TMJ exercises helps you see the misalignment that is one of the factors in TMJ syndrome. Gradually, the exercises will teach you control of the jaw muscles and eliminate clenching.

Bite Therapy

A process known as TMJ therapy, or bite therapy, is used by dentists to help find the causes of TMJ syndrome and provide long-term pain relief. TMJ bite treatment begins with a careful, detailed analysis of your mouth and jaw to find the causes of your disorder. For some, the issue may be jaw clenching; this can usually be attributed to stress or simply a bad habit. For others, the teeth may not come together evenly, a condition known as malocclusion. This can cause uneven use of the jaw and result in muscle pain. Dentists have several tools at their disposal to measure bite pressure throughout the mouth and formulate a plan for dental work that will correct malocclusion and provide TMJ pain relief.