Dentist - Grand Rapids
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Grand Rapids, MI 49525



Posts for tag: TMJ

By North Park Family Dental
March 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ   tmj disorders   tmd  

Have you noticed a clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open or close your jaw? As many as 36 million U.S. adults experience this phenomenon in one or both of the joints that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull.

While the sounds may be disconcerting, there’s generally no cause for concern in the absence of other symptoms. They’re most likely caused by a harmless shift in the position of the disk inside each temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and it can diminish or disappear entirely over time. But, if you’re also experiencing persistent discomfort, severe pain, or limited function in your jaw (which can include getting it “stuck” in an opened or closed position), then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder — part of a complex set of conditions affecting one or both jaw joints, muscles and/or other surrounding tissues. (You may have heard the condition called TMJ, which is actually the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint itself. Health care professionals prefer TMJD or TMD.)

Depending on the severity, TMD can interfere with your ability to speak, chew and even make facial expressions. The cause is unclear, but genes, gender, environment, stress and behavior are believed to play a role. It can also be symptomatic of a larger medical problem, such as fibromyalgia, which can produce pain all over the body.

Management Options for TMD

TMD traditionally was viewed as a bite problem (malocclusion) requiring mechanical correction — e.g., through orthodontic braces or surgery. But the current therapeutic model approaches TMD as an orthopedic problem (joint inflammation, muscle soreness, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk damage) and favors a sequence of conservative, reversible procedures — hot or cold compresses in the jaw area, soft foods, physical therapy/massage, medication, and/or a bite guard to decrease pressure on jaw joints from tooth clenching and grinding — prior to more aggressive, irreversible treatment alternatives.

If you would like more information about TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Seeking Relief from TMD” and “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

By North Park Family Dental
January 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ  

Find out how your Grand Rapids dentist could help alleviate your morning headaches.

Do you suffer from frequent tension or morning headaches? Do you put up with an aching sore jaw? If so, you could be a teeth clencher. This is an all-too-common issue that many people deal with; however, you don’t have to just put up with the pain. Being aTMJ teeth clencher not only causes uncomforting symptoms like jaw pain and headaches but can also damage your teeth. However, your Grand Rapids dentist has a treatment plan that could help reduce your clenching habit.

How do you control teeth clenching with NTI Tension Suppression?

There are three aspects of clenching to be considered: the frequency, severity and duration of this habit. While how long and how often you clench your jaw cannot be controlled, we do have some control over how severe your clenching habit is. The NTI Tension Suppression device, which is so small that it only fits on either your upper or lower front teeth, will prevent back teeth from coming in contact with each other, which will decrease the severity of your jaw clenching and reduce your jaw pain and headaches.

When do I need to wear my NTI Tension Suppression?

You will only need to wear this device while you sleep since you can’t be conscious of your jaw clenching. Luckily the device is tiny and not as bulky as regular mouthguards, which teeth grinders may need to wear.

When will I notice an improvement in my jaw clenching symptoms?

When you start wearing your NTI device you may immediately notice that something feels different; however, many patients will start to notice significant relief between one to six weeks of constant nighttime wear.

If you want to find out more about the NTI Tension Suppression System and whether it could help reduce your morning headaches and jaw discomfort, then talk to your Grand Rapids dentist today. Forget about invasive surgeries or custom dental guards that can be costly and opt for our NTI dental device.