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For TMJ/TMD Treatment please call our Little Rock office at (501) 225-1577.
TMJ Dental Specialists in Little Rock, Arkansas
Have you noticed a clicking, grating or popping noise while opening or closing your mouth? Do you experience discomfort or soreness while biting down, chewing or speaking? Are you suffering from headaches? Do you ears ache or feel full? Have you been dealing with lower energy levels or found yourself to be more fatigued or tired? If so, these problems may be a sign of TMJ or TMD.
You are not alone and you are not “crazy!” In fact, millions of other people unknowingly suffer from TMJD. It strikes men, women and children and has no regard for age. Most suffer in silence due to lack of awareness and don’t know where to begin to find TMJ treatment or an experienced TMD dentist or doctor.
The condition is often interchangeably referred to as TMJ, TMD or TMJD; although each acronym has different meaning. TMJ simply stands for temporomandibular joint. This is not a condition; it is actually the name of the jaw joint. It connects the base of the skull to the mandible or lower jaw. People often, unwittingly, state that they have TMJ as if it is a disease or condition.
TMD and TMJD are abbreviations for temporomandibular disorder or temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome, which too are used interchangeably to describe musculoskeletal disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint and the muscles surrounding it. To add to the complexity of it all, TMD presents with many various signs and symptoms, of different combinations, leading the sufferer to seek help from doctors of different specialties. For example, a patient may see a neurologist, chiropractor, gastroenterologist and dentist for their headaches, dizziness, back or shoulder pain, acid reflux, irritable bowel, difficulty swallowing and jaw pain. TMD has been termed the “Great Imposter” because sufferers don’t associate the symptoms with the jaw joint.
The more common symptoms associated with TMD include:
- Facial pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Ringing in the ears
- Itchy ears
- A feeling of “fullness” in the ears
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and fingertips
- Chronic fatigue or tiredness
- Fibromyalgia or widespread pain
- Equilibrium (balance) problems
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Depression or anxiety
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Tooth pain with no findings upon examination
- Sinus discomfort
- Chiropractic problems that do not respond well to treatment
- Jaw pain
- Locking (inability to open or close mouth)
- Limited range of motion (unable to open very wide)
- Asymmetrical movement of the jaw upon opening
TMD, left untreated, can potentially have devastating effects on your overall health and well-being. Some patients destroy their teeth because of constant clenching or grinding, while others may suffer from debilitating headaches. Furthermore, any patients experiencing TMD may also be suffering from sleep apnea. If you do not seek treatment from an experienced TMJ dentist, like Dr. Dalton, your symptoms may only worsen with time. Lack of proper treatment often leads to increased inflammation, further damage to the joint and teeth; significant head, neck and facial pain; and even sleep apnea later in life.
It is estimated that over half of Americans suffer from a varying degree of TMD. Fortunately, it can be treated with neuromuscular dentistry. The TMJ dentist, or doctor, at Central Dental offers a variety of procedures and services that can be used to provide TMD treatment, or TMJ therapy, that is customized to your specific needs.
Neuromuscular Dentistry in Little Rock, Arkansas
Central Dental of Little Rock is a leader in treating TMD and craniofacial pain quickly and successfully. Central Dental’s team consists of a top-rated, highly credentialed dentist who devotes his experience and refined skills to the treatment of TMJ disorders. Some of the treatment options offered by Central Dental are:
- Advanced Diagnostics:
- i-CAT – cone beam CT scan that produces high definition 3D diagnostic images for optimum treatment efficiency. Allows focused visualization of the temporomandibular joints and 3D data enhanced views for detection of airway restrictions.
- T-Scan – technology that identifies any imbalance in the bite or how the teeth fit together.
- K7 Evaluation System – measures and records mandibular function and masticatory (chewing) muscle status via jaw tracking, electromyography and sonography.
- Computerized Range of Motion Measurement System – measures cervical spine movement.
- Joint Stabilization and Splinting – careful repositioning of a dislocated, locked or poorly positioned jaw joint into the proper anatomical position with the placement of a splint to hold the jaw in place to allow healing to occur.
- TMJ Oral Appliances:
- TMJ Daytime Appliance – facilitates healing, calms overactive muscles, stabilizes the jaw, and achieves neuromuscular reeducation. These mandibular, or lower arch, appliances are easily worn while eating, speaking, singing and playing musical instruments.
- TMJ Nighttime Appliance – reposition the mandible in a forward position while allowing the disc assembly to resume a more normal position in relation to the condyle and fossa. The maxillary, or upper appliance, is generally worn at night as it interferes with eating and can make speaking difficult.
- TMJ/OSA Appliance – reduces airway restriction caused by breathing related disorders by preventing jaw and/or tongue retrusion and maintaining an open airway. TMD patients have a high propensity for sleep disorders.
- TMJ Physical Therapy:
- Low Level Laser Therapy – reduces pain and stimulates healing by reducing inflammation and increasing circulation or blood flow.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound – helps relax tight muscles and provides deep heat to the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons resulting in increased circulation or blood flow to aid in the process of healing.
- Manual Trigger Point Therapy – application of continual pressure to release the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles thereby alleviated discomfort.
- Microcurrent Stimulation – induces muscle relaxation, reduces pain and decreases muscle spasm.
- Trigger Point Injection Therapy – injection of a local anesthetic into trigger points or tender areas to provide immediate relieve discomfort and break the pain cycle.
The purpose of TMJ treatment is to improve your quality of life by eliminating or significantly reducing symptoms and stabilizing the entire system. Treatment length is approximately three to six months and success directly correlates with compliance. Central Dental achieves this by providing non-surgical, conservative treatment in a relaxed and professional atmosphere.
Contact Central Dental
If you’re looking for an experienced and highly skilled TMJ/TMD/TMJD or craniofacial pain dentist in Little Rock, or Central Arkansas, Central Dental can provide you with the care you have been seeking along with any general dentistry needs you may have in the future. The doctors and team members at Central Dental will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will give you the relief you want.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please call (501) 225-1577 and one of our friendly staff members will schedule your TMJ/TMD treatment consultation today!
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TMJ and Sleep Apnea