Do you experience headaches? Do you experience jaw pain? Do you sometimes feel that your teeth do not connect or bite properly? You may be suffering from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). Our Cumming dentists proudly provide quality TMJ and headache care to the community of Cumming, GA and surrounding areas. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of jaw pains, muscle spasms, headaches, locking of the jaw and other TMJ related pain.
What Are the Components of TMJ, Migraine and Headaches?
- Imbalance of the bite or occlusion
- Imbalance among the muscles of the joints, jaw, head and neck
- Stress imbalance and home care
If your dentist or doctor is not treating all three components, your chances of success go down dramatically.
When there is an imbalance in the bite due to wear on the teeth, different types of materials used to restore the teeth, silver, gold, porcelain, older restorations which may have become worn down with time, the stresses placed on the teeth can change for the worse. Dentists used to take inked paper or waxes and had the patients bite up and down on them to see where the forces were. Today successful resolution of TMJ problems requires state of the art technology.
TMJ & Headache Technology
We use the only 3-D computerized system which can accurately and objectively measure your occlusal (bite). With this instrument, we can measure not only the force of the bite, but the timing as the teeth initially touch on closing (and where) as well as which tooth is the last one to separate on opening.
We use four modalities to balance and relax the muscles and joints of the jaw, head, and neck:
- Ultrasound helps break up scar tissue and adhesions and brings blood flow to the area. Ultrasound works on the deeper muscles and tissues, using penetrating sound waves and heat.
- Massage helps relax the muscles, brings blood flow to the area, stimulates healing, and locates “trigger points” in the muscles. Trigger points are tiny knots or balls in the muscle that contain lactic acid and create wind-up pain loops. These trigger points refer pain from the muscle to other areas of the body. For example, a trigger point in the upper shoulder may refer pain into the jaw and/or face.
- Alpha-Stim Microcurrent* helps break up the trigger points located through massage. Alpha-Stim sends a low electrical current that produces ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the major source of energy for cellular reactions), which relaxes and unwinds the trigger point. This action releases the build-up of lactic acid, and the pain both in that area and in the referring areas is reduced.
- Low-level Laser decreases the healing time of the muscles and joints by 25-35%! The low-level laser uses a non-heat laser light to send a signal to the muscles and nerves to produce ATP energy – thereby allowing the muscles to relax, increasing blood flow to the area, and reducing pain. Then, the laser sends a signal to the brain to help inhibit pain.
*Alpha-Stim microcurrent – FDA cleared and clinically proven. Alpha-Stim delivers a dose of microcurrent that is almost undetectable. These “microcurrents” attempt to mimic the body’s natural electrical functions. “Patients with treatment-resistant depression and migraines have shown significant elevations in plasma serotonin.” University of Miami’s School of Medicine quotes, “Increases in the cerebrospinal fluid level of beta-endorphins up to 219%, plasma endorphins up to 98%, and cerebrospinal fluid serotonin up to 200% have been demonstrated in normal volunteers receiving 20 minutes of CES [cranial electrotherapy stimulation].” All of these improvements in brain chemistry are necessary for upper body health. Also good for treating anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
A Message from the Cumming Dentist, Dr. Barden
These images show some of the information which can be taken from the T-Scan unit. We can see the force of the teeth and pinpoint exactly where the forces are. The three panels showing what appears to be a dental arch show the intensity of the bite, and from there I can see which teeth are hitting first and the intensity relative to the other teeth. In the one with the multi-colored columns, I can visually get a representation of the strength of the intensity.
People will lose their teeth through a combination of ways. Decay, gum disease and force. Over a lifetime there are changes always going on in the mouth. New fillings of composite, amalgam, different kinds of porcelain, lost teeth, etc. All of this puts a strain on the muscles which hold the lower jaw to the skull and upper jaw. Where there is an imbalance, excessive forces may contribute to the loss of bone around the teeth as well as putting undue stress on the muscles associated with the face and jaws. By utilizing this device, we are able to re-establish the correct load on the teeth preventing much of the above.
This is also used with the Myo-Tronic unit to balance the bite in implants restorations, TMJ cases, and other situations which call for precise measurements of the stresses and strains placed on the teeth and jaws in today’s stressful society.
To get relief from your TMJ pains, contact our office today for your consultation.