TMJ and Orthopedic Care in Coral Gables
Just like a bridge has to be structured in a very precise way to carry a great deal of weight and withstand the elements, your mouth functions in a very similar way. Your teeth, jaw and neck have to fit together correctly so that you can perform crucial functions like biting and chewing easily and comfortably. Of course, the sad truth is that even a slight misalignment can throw the entire system off-balance, causing severe pain, limited range of motion, dizziness, fatigue, and much more. That’s where, Dr. Jose Bushdid comes in. With the help of new technological (non surgical) advancements, he has the precise skill and specialized training necessary to help you achieve a comfortable position for your bite through TMJ and orthopedic care. Our patients are in awe of the simply amazing results we can achieve with these revolutionary methods!
What is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMD or TMJ) is a serious disease that occurs because of a structural imbalance in a patient’s jaw-skull relationship (a bad bite). While it may seem like minor inconvenience at first, TMJ disorder eventually leads to a destructive chain reaction, resulting in the alteration of the positions of the temporomandibular joints, excessive pressure on the joints and tissues around them, and even a painful twisting of the jaw into a position that’s strained. All of these effects have consequences on your health and well-being. In fact, even the muscles in the face, neck, back, and shoulders can be negatively affected. This is why pursuing treatment as quickly as possible is so critical.
Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- TMJ Pain
- Clicking sounds in the jaw
- Congestion and Stuffiness in the ear
- Tinnitus (ringing ears)
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Issues with posture
- Pain in the shoulders, back, and neck
- Difficulty with chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Limited Opening
- Thermal sensitivity
- Numb fingers and arms
- Nonspecific facial pain
- Clenching and grinding
- Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth
- Cracking, chipping, or breaking of dental restorations
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
- Bell's Palsy
Consequently, thousands of chronic sufferers of many of these symptoms go from one medical specialist to another, taking potent drugs, which fail to bring relief, even having needless surgery when the pain becomes unbearable or being referred to psychiatrists who cannot help them because these experts are concentrating on the symptoms without recognizing the cause.
Thankfully, patients struggling with many of these potentially debilitating symptoms can find the precise care and long-lasting relief they need here at our Coral Gables dental office.
One of the most common and persistent symptoms TMJ patients face is headaches/migraines. All too often, these instances are misdiagnosed and treated with a number of unhelpful solutions, including medication, surgery, and therapy. The truth, though, is that TMJ-related migraines are often caused by the contraction of your facial muscles due to a bad bite, which overworks them to a point of pain as teeth continue to chew throughout the day. Thankfully, Dr. Bushdid's wealth of TMJ-related experience enables him to provide much-needed relief. Once our team is able to alter your jaw back into their ideal position, your facial muscles will be allowed to relax at last, which should eliminate migraine/headache pain and allow you to get back to enjoying your life to the fullest.
The Craniocervical Connection
As seen above, TMJ disorder doesn't just affect your smile and oral health – it can lead to debilitating pain and discomfort all over your body, especially the craniocervical area, which pertains to the junction between a person's neck and skull. While it may initially seem strange to think that one area would affect another, Dr. Bushdid has seen time and time again how closely these areas are connected through the presence of TMJ disorder. There is a vast, complex system of nerves and blood vessels in the region, which renders craniocervical tissue very vulnerable to a variety of traction disorders, including misalignments in the TMJ and many of the symptoms mentioned above. Dr. Bushdid works with a specially trained NUCCA Chiropractor and a Craniocervical Physical Therapist to make sure your neck is properly aligned before and during the optimization of your bite.
K7 Neuromuscular Evaluation System
The K7 Neuromuscular Evaluation System is a computerized tool that uses several different methods to diagnose the condition of your bite. First, electromyography (EMG) measures your muscle activity when you’re both in motion and resting, similar to a Cardiologist running an EKG study. Next, the computerized tracking will take detailed 3-D images of your jaw position in the same two circumstances. Last but not least,is Electrosonography (ESG), which enables Dr. Bushdid to clearly hear any noises that may be occurring when the jaw is in motion. All of these factors will help our team determine where and how your bite is misaligned.
The TENS unit is used to relax the muscles located in the patient’s head and neck. It does this by delivering comfortable electric stimulation to these specific areas so that you achieve a relaxed state. This method helps bring more blood flow into the muscles, which not only increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients, but gets rid of waste products that metabolism creates. After a period of 45-60 minutes has passed, your muscles should overcome their original “programming” and enter a deep state of physiologic rest.
With these two revolutionary tools working together, Dr. Bushdid will be able to find a new, ideally comfortable position for your bite. He can then prescribe a variety of treatment options depending on your unique needs. Our patients are beside themselves with how incredible it feels to wake up in the morning and experience none of that familiar, aching pain!
Gneuromuscular Temporary Orthotic
A gneuromuscular temporary orthotic may look like a simple mouthguard, but it’s function is actually much more crucial to your oral health. Once Dr. Bushdid and his team have determined your ideal bite with the help of the K7 Neuromuscular Evaluation System and TENS unit, we’ll then stabilize this change with the help of the customized orthotic, which will work as a splint that gently repositions the jaw, retrains the muscles, and relieves debilitating symptoms. The Gneuromuscular orthotic is different than the traditional neuromuscular orthotic, as it integrates the traditional principles of Gnathology (the study of the bite and masticatory system – chewing) along with the more recent Neuromuscular approaches. The temporary orthotic is worn 24 hours a day for a period of three to 12 months. It is traditionally the first phase of a broader course of treatment and its function is to relieve the continuous muscle spasms of the jaw, eliminate the chronic symptoms of the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), get the various systems involved with your occlusion and chewing to become accustomed to the optimized bite, all while stabilizing the craniomandibular and craniocervical relationship. Once this is done the more permanent next phase of treatment can begin.
Phase II treatment can include:
- Gneuromuscular Orthodontics
- Semi permanent Orthotic
- Full Mouth rehabilitation with Porcelain restorations
- Combination of the above treatments
In instances where a minor irregularity in the occlusion (bite) is caused by the interference of a slightly protruding or poorly shaped tooth or teeth, some enamel from the affected area(s) can be reshaped in order to achieve optimal occlusion. It is important to note that this procedure is only applicable to cases that require very minor adjustments.
Whenever the enamel is reshaped, the K7 Evaluation System may be used to measure the resulting occlusal relationship.
Unlike conventional orthodontic treatment, Gneuromuscular orthodontics is specifically focused on how your muscles, temporomandibular joints, teeth and neck all affect one another. By carefully moving your teeth with barely noticeable clear braces, into their optimal position in a permanent fashion, Dr. Bushdid can create newfound stability for your smile and decrease trauma. Not only will you be able to enjoy an improved profile and facial appearance following treatment, but also proper positioning for your joints and a much greater sense of personal comfort.
Full Mouth Rehabilitation with Porcelain Restorations
If the wear and tear of Temporomandibular Disorder has rendered your remaining teeth weak and broken down, a full mouth rehabilitation with Porcelain restorations might be the Phase II treatment option for you. Once you are feeling better wearing the Gneuromuscular temporary orthotic, Dr. Bushdid and his master ceramist will create beautiful porcelain restorations, all while maintaining your new found stable bite position, leaving you with the smile and comfort you have always dreamed about!
If you or someone you know is struggling with neuromuscular/TMJ-related issues, please contact our team immediately to schedule an appointment. You deserve to experience a higher quality of life and a bite that’s free of frustration and unnecessary pain. Dr. Bushdid’s TMJ and orthopedic care is designed to increase your comfort and leave you feeling confident and satisfied once again. Our Coral Gables, FL dental office can’t wait to welcome you!
If you want to read more about Gneuromuscular Dentistry, please visit the link below by clicking on the picture.