It’s very common. Patients come to Dr. Patel seeking relief from pain and discomfort their physicians couldn’t effectively treat. These individuals suffer from severe headaches, ringing in the ears, neck pain, jaw pain, and even dizziness. In some cases they have been put on powerful pain relievers and muscle relaxers to no avail. And the inability of these drugs to provide relief leads to a sense of hopelessness. There is reason for hope. It is Dr. Patel’s experience that the majority of these patients suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ). While it is true the symptoms of TMJ can be debilitating and interfere with everyday life, there are effective ways to address the pain and discomfort. Once they are managed, a treatment plan can be devised for the underlying TMJ disorder.
What is TMJ?
Quite simply, TMJ Syndrome is pain and impaired movement in the jaw joint and related muscles. The most common cause is misalignment of the teeth or “bad bite.” The condition is often made worse by bruxism, or grinding of the teeth. Both issues should be attended to as, if left untreated, TMJ is one of the primary contributors to eroded jawbones and loosened teeth. It is also possible to suffer from TMJ as a result of a blow to the meniscus cartilage in the jaw.
Dr. Patel has experience realigning teeth without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. The realignment should optimize the bite and help stop the headaches and jaw pain. It also may improve the aesthetic appearance of the patient’s teeth and smile.
The symptom of grinding teeth is particularly common and usually occurs at night. Untreated, grinding will eventually erode the underlying structure of the teeth and lead to more severe dental problems in the future. Dr. Patel can prescribe a special molded bite orthotic Rescue® appliance to prevent the destruction caused by grinding at night. He can also suggest relaxation techniques to help alleviate stress that can lead to bruxism.
A consultation with Dr. Patel can be the first step toward a better night’s sleep—for you and your loved ones.