TMJ TreatmentAn Overview
Many people have bite related problems and don’t even realize it. If you experience frequent headaches, especially in the area around your temples, neck aches or clicking or popping in your jaw near your ears you may be experiencing a bite related problem.
Dr. Richard Sousa has experience in treating bite related TMJ Disorders and associated problems. He completed an additional year of training in craniomandibular disorders at NYU. He was an associate for many years in one of the best known and respected TMJ specialty practices in the world. In addition, he is a fellow of the Northeastern Gnathological Society which is a highly respected organization that focuses on the function and reconstruction of the bite.
What is TMJ?
Short for temporomandibular joint, TMJ has become the catch-all term for an uncomfortable or uneven bite. There is a range of possible causes for a TMJ related disorder, including:
- Genetic, jaw structure concerns
In almost all patients, there is muscle tension as a result of either a dental problem, teeth grinding or a combination of the two. This ongoing stress on the jaw joints prevents them from resting in a natural position and can also impact how the teeth make contact when chewing. Over time, this leads to tooth wear, damage, discomfort and a range of painful symptoms affecting the craniomandibular region.
Dr. Sousa works with patients to assess their oral health, lifestyle habits and other factors affecting their smile. He will provide a personalized treatment plan to address the unique concerns of each patient.
Innovative dentistry, friendly enthusiastic staff, with common sense applied to treatment. What more could one ask for?Lisa Madsen
It is always a pleasant experience to go to Dr. Sousa's office. I completely rely on Dr. Sousa's expertise in dentistry and his cosmetic aesthetic (he is an artist) as well as the upbeat positive environment with Dr. Sousa's staff. Conversation is always sprinkled with a sense of humor; yet…Anonymous
The best dental experience I've had thus far. When I enter the office I am greeted with big smiles and kind words. It feels like a family. The work Dr. Sousa does is sensational and his determination to do the best job he can is indisputable. With a great supporting…Anonymous
TMJ Treatment What to Expect
Treatment for a TMJ related disorder is unique to each patient, depending on the condition of their dental health and the underlying cause of their bite problem. The first step is a thorough exam and analysis of your bite. Dr. Sousa will look for signs of tooth wear, damage and listen to the sound of the jaw joints in motion. From there, a treatment plan is created to address your needs with the goal of restoring comfort, function and lasting oral health.
Treatment options can include:
- Mouth guard, night guard: often recommended, a custom oral appliance that is designed to position the jaw correctly and prevent clenching and teeth grinding.
- Restorative dentistry: to readjust how the teeth make contact, or to address tooth damage, we may recommend a range of restorative treatments.
- Orthodontics: if malocclusion is the problem, orthodontic treatment may be the best option for realigning the bite and restoring oral health.
For patients who also identify stress as a cause for their TMJ related symptoms, there are lifestyle changes that can work to reduce jaw tension and improve symptoms. Exercise, rest and identifying the source of your stress may be the first steps towards better oral and overall health and wellness.