Our Services » TMJ Syndrome Treatment and Bite Correction
Many patients come to Gentle Dentistry for treatment of TMJ (Temporo Mandibular Joint) problems specifically and we are also accepting referrals from other dental practitioners, doctors and chiropractors.
TMJ Syndrome or TM Dysfunction is caused by an imbalance in the bite (occlusion) which can produce many symptoms, but not necessarily all and sometimes only one or two
As an analogy, think of your car’s tracking; if there is an imbalance the tyres will wear unevenly and lead to damage and premature loss if the problem is not corrected. Teeth are very similar and are designed to function in a special way when we chew. If the tracking is out this can cause any of the following signs and symptoms:-
- Headaches, especially on waking
- Migraine headaches
- Stiff neck and shoulder pain
- Front teeth which are worn down and/or have chipped biting edges
- Pain behind the eyes
- Pain in the jaw joints or clicking jaws
- Sloping shoulders
- Cracked teeth
- Facial pain after a car accident, whiplash injury or assault
- Lower back pain
- Hip pain
- Knee/ankle pain
- Sensitive Teeth
- Unexplained tooth pain
- Gum problems
- Poor sleep patterns due to night time clenching and grinding
Many patients find themselves in the cycle of despair having attended various medical practitioners for treatment of its various symptoms.
The good news is that, at Gentle Dentistry, we have successfully treated many people over the last twenty years.
TreatmentTreatment involves the use of acrylic bite appliances which allow the bite to be changed over a period of time.
Initially an anterior deprogramming jig is made in the surgery which is a simple bite appliance which can only be worn for up to three weeks. Very accurate models of the teeth are also made and are mounted on a Dénar Dental Articulator which simulates the jaw movements accurately. This enables us to recreate your bite and study it more closely. In this way your bite problem can be accurately diagnosed.
At this stage a custom Aspen bite appliance is made by our laboratory specialist and is worn for approximately three to six months on average. Regular micro adjustments are made to the appliance under high magnification during this time.
Also during this time, and when appropriate, we recommend a chiropractic opinion. Should chiropractic treatment be indicated, this is carried out immediately prior to adjustment of the bite appliance. This allows us to centralise any adjustments to the spine.
Bite appliances are fully removable by the patient for cleaning and social occasions.
When a patient feels much better and their Neuro Muscular Release has increased significantly equilibration of the teeth is then indicated. The process of Equilibration involves reshaping the occlusal (biting) surfaces of all of your teeth. This will involve adjustment of existing fillings/crowns and enamel/dentine. Once the Equilibration is completed a bite appliance is no longer required.
Dr Robert Dobson was actually diagnosed with a possible brain haemorrhage over twenty years ago which turned out to be TMJ Syndrome. He suffered for two years and this experience, which kept him off work for over three months, enables him to empathise with his patients. This incident initiated his special interest in bite correction treatment and also led him to attending training in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ Syndrome. He is now an invited member of the British Society of Occlusal Studies and a member of the British Society for the Study of Craniomandibular Disorders.
If you think you may have TMJ Syndrome please call the practice today to arrange for an initial TMJ consultation where we will be able to examine your bite thoroughly and diagnose the problem.