TMJ is a disorder that involves the TEMPORAL bone of the skull, the MANDIBLE and the JOINT that connects the temporal bone of the skull and the mandible, thus the name TemporalMandibularJoint or TMJ. TMJ is a part of a broader dysfunction called Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction or TMD. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) syndrome is discomfort in the jaw joint that can be caused by numerous medical issues. Certain facial muscles that control chewing are also attached to the mandible. Problems in this area can cause head and neck pain, facial pain, ear pain, headaches, cervical issues, a jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open, problems with biting and jaw clicking or popping sounds when you bite. Women seem to be affected more than men with TMJ. Some contribute this to the different make up of hormones seen in women versus men.The TMJ is comprised of muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and bones. You have two TMJs, one on each side of your jaw near your ear. Many people suffer from TMJ. It is often mistaken for other medical ailments thus overlooked in initial diagnosis. It was termed the Great Impostor by world renowned pediatric dentist Dr. Jim Garry due to its many symptoms and trigger points radiating from different parts of the stomatognathic system including the head and neck areas. Some estimates place the number of TMD suffers in the United States at 15% of the population. Dr. Adams believes it may be higher from what he sees in his practice and his own personal interactions with his colleagues as he teaches and lectures.
TMJ and Neuromuscular Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
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Figure 1 - The Temporal Bone and Mandible connected at the Joint. Figure 2 - The interconnection between the teeth, upper and lower jaw, muscles and joint. Figure 3 - The joint showing the condyle of the lower jaw, Temporal bone and eminence of the skull, bilaminar disc, retrodiscal tissue area and Pterygoid muscles.
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Figure 1 - The strong interconnection between the Teeth, Joints, Muscles, Posture, C1 and C2 and Airway. Can't treat one without it affecting the others. Figure 2- BioResearch Technology. Figure 3- Being able to show patient computerized jaw opening and closing function on a computer from live recording.
Traditional dentistry is typically more myopically focused limiting itself to the teeth. Dentists receive their education in this traditional format which is why post graduate education is extremely important when doing Smile Makeovers, Full Mouth Reconstruction, Porcelain Veneers, TMJ, Sleep Apnea and Invisalign. Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM has had a passion over the past 35 years for improving patients with those difficult conditions. treats one tooth or problem at a time with more of a mechanical approach. Neuromuscular Dentistry (NMD) goes beyond that traditional approach and uses a more holistic approach to assess the entire stomatognathic system of teeth, jaw, joints, tongue position,airway and muscles to assure they are working in harmony. Dr Adams utilizes Neuromuscular Dentistry to help him diagnose and treat this intricate and connected disorder.A Neuromuscular Dentist is trained to look at the whole stomatognathic system including the teeth, muscles, joints, tongue position, posture and airway.With scientific tools and advanced training he is able to peel off the layers and pinpoint the cause of the discomfort and compromised function.Instead of looking at just the teeth and joints he is able to look at the whole system.He was an early believer on the impact of airway issues on TMD and TMJ specifically.It is his belief that airway issues and tongue position actually drive many TMD/TMJ cases.
TMJ is a very complex condition and there are many opinions on how it can be managed. Timothy ?C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM believes in the least invasive procedures first before recommending a more aggressive approach. It has been his experience that many of these conditions can be dramatically improved with a neuromuscular appliance. Afer it has been determined the patient has achieved a comfortable position, many decide to enhance their smiles with porcelain veneers, built to their position. t is very difficult to eliminate ALL issues relating to TMJ and TMD because some physiological changes can't be made completely.
Relief is Available
Internationally recognized as a leading Neuromuscular Dentist, Dr. Adams utilizes the principles of Neuromuscular Dentistry to address the causes, not just the symptoms, of your dental problems. With a focus on your dental health - and its relationship to your overall health - Dr. Adams utilizes a comprehensive approach and state-of-the-art diagnostics to prepare and implement an individualized treatment plan unique for each patient.