Questions & Answers About TMJ / TMD / CCMD

Answer: TMJ stands for Temporo Mandibular Joint – the joints in front of our ears that connect the lower jaw to the skull. But “TMJ” is often used to refer to symptoms related to jaw joints such as clicking, popping, locking, grinding of these joints. Sometimes patients are told that they “don’t have TMJ” if the joints themselves are OK. TMD symptoms include those symptoms, as well as those related to poorly aligned jaws such as: headaches, ear pain, jaw pain, difficulty chewing, limited mouth opening etc. TMD (Temporo Mandibular Disorder) and CCMD (Cranio Cervical Mandibular Dysfunction) are terms that better describe this condition.

Answer: Botox has not been proven effective for other types of headache, such as less frequent migraine and tension headaches. Botox is a toxin, but it is not poisonous. The FDA has provided full approval for the product to be used to treat chronic migraine. Learn more about Botox and side effects caused from usage.

Answer: Of course, all of us have two TM joints. If there is a problem with TMJ, you would become aware of it if any of these symptoms appear. It is possible to have a click that does not hurt or just “goes away”. Just because it does not hurt does not mean it is healthy or optimal. At what point does one becomes concerned about “heart problems”? When the cholesterol is high but nothing hurts…or when there is chest pain? Many wait till there is chest pain. It may not be the most effective strategy.

Answer: Botulinum is the most acutely lethal toxin known, with an estimated human median lethal dose (LD50) of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg intravenously or intramuscularly and 10–13 ng/kg when inhaled.

The commercial form is marketed under the brand name Botox, among others. BOTOX Migraine Treatment.

Answer: Taking Pain killers can be one of the options if the patient desires temporary relief of TMD symptoms. However, informed patients are aware of the many side effects of using medications long term and would rather get the underlying cause precisely diagnosed and treat it. The longer the symptoms go on, it is harder to treat and get the best results.

Answer: For non-surgical treatment of TMD, you need a dentist that has committed to treating TMD on a daily basis and as such has invested the time, training and technological resources to be prepared to offer various treatment options.

Having invested in advanced training at Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) in the area of TMD is a good indicator. Memberships in International College of Cranio Mandibular Orthopedics (ICCMO) and American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP) are good indicators also.

Answer: Expertise, experience and a history of actual results. Ultimately, you need to feel well educated by the doctor on the nature of your particular case, the various options available including “no treatment” and the consequences of each of those options. These consequences include risks, time, discomfort and fees.

Answer: These are some of the considerations in contemplating TMJ surgery. It is an irreversible procedure. There is no “undoing” a surgery. Any time general anesthesia is employed, there are risks associated with that, including death. That is spelled out in the anesthesia consent form. Besides, most surgeons readily agree that TM Joint surgery – arthroplasty – is fraught with problems. Typical TMJ surgery consent forms cite success rate of “80% chance of as much as 50% improvement of symptoms”. That means, there is a 20% chance of symptoms getting “worse”. The most improvement one hopes for is a 50% improvement. Is this good enough for you?

Answer: Most symptoms such as headaches, ear pain, neck pain, jaw pain are ‘medical symptoms’. As such if it is covered it should be under the medical benefits. There are so many different benefit packages, we ask our patients do check with their insurance plan book to see if it is covered or not.

Many insurance policies do have “exclusion” for non-invasive TMJ/TMD treatment. Because it is not treatment of tooth problems – such as decay or gum disease, it is not covered by dental insurance.

Answer: Physiclogic Neuromuscular dentistry is the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders. When your jaw alignment is such that the bite (how the teeth fit together) is not in harmony with the muscles of your jaw, symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, limited jaw openings, neck pain, jaw clicking, jaw locking, jaw popping, grinding teeth, breakdown of the teeth and many, many other symptoms can occur.

Answer: Traditional orthodontics focuses almost entirely on the nice, cosmetic appearance of teeth (straight front teeth). The neuromuscular functional orthodontics / orthopedics takes into account all the information on teeth, condition of TM joints, adequate tongue room, upper airway, muscles that control the posture and function of the jaw and neck. So the end result of NFOO is optimal, healthy function as well as appearance of a healthy smile. The devices used – braces for example – may be similar, but the main difference is how they are used and to achieve what end results.

Answer: It should come to no surprise that the TMJ is located near the ear. Often thought of, or diagnosed as, allergies and prescribed medications. Not understanding it may be a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) causing pressure and/or block the eustachian tubes leading to blocked ear causing ear pressure.

Answer: Studies show a link between frequent migraine headaches and brain damage causing brain lesions especially in those who experience seeing flashing lights just prior to a headache.

Answer: Having discomfort swallowing caused from TMJ can lead to difficulties in eating and drinking as this is all part of integrated system which includes, but not limited to, your neck, head, face, ears, and back. Whenever any of these parts are problematic it effects the TMJ.

We have many great success stories from our clients over the years. You can read some of our clients success stories on our Patient Stories page or hear first hand from our clients as they present their story on our testimonials page.