What Is the Best Way to Treat TMJ in Indianapolis?

The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint on either side of the jaw that enables the jaw to open, close, move from side to side and move forwards. Our temporomandibular joints are subject to a disorder known as TMJ disorder (or TMJ for short), which can affect just one or both joints.

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

The most common symptoms of TMJ disorder include limited jaw movement, inability to open the mouth or difficulty in doing so, “lock” jaw, noises such as clicking or grating coming from the joints, toothache or teeth sensitivity, difficulty chewing or discomfort when doing so, jaw pain, or pain in the muscles associated with jaw movement.

What is the Cause?

The exact cause of TMJ disorder is not always identifiable. Some suggested factors include clenching or grinding of the teeth (also known as bruxism), mental stress, injuries to the jaw joints, and conditions such as arthritis.

Treatments for TMJ Disorder

Treatments are available to relieve the most common symptoms and restore function. Once a diagnosis has been made by your health professional, there are many possible treatment options to consider, and the best way to treat TMJ disorders may be one or a combination of the following.

#1 Occlusal Splint Therapy

This involves a custom-made guard, or splint, to fit your upper or lower teeth. It is usually worn at night. This treatment is intended not only to alleviate your symptoms but also to protect your teeth from further damage if you are prone to clenching and grinding.

#2 Physiotherapy

This can be used to address muscular discomfort associated with TMJ disorders, and your clinician may suggest exercises designed to increase strength and ease movement.

#3 Other Conservative Treatments

That may be suggested include placing warm or cold packs in areas that are tender, modifying your diet (avoid eating hard or chewy foods), managing stress and using pain-relief and/or anti-inflammatory medications.

In some instances where the above conservative methods of treatment have been used but symptoms persist, you may be referred to a specialist in TMJ disorders; and in rare cases surgery may be performed by an oral & maxillofacial surgeon if appropriate.

Talk To A Dentist In Indianapolis

If you think you might have TMD or another oral health issue, make an appointment at Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center. Our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders, and we’ll work with you to develop the most suitable treatment plan.

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office at 1320 N. Post Rd Indianapolis, IN 46219 patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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Top 3 Jaw Dropping Facts about TMJ Disorders

Top 3 Jaw Dropping Facts about TMJ Disorders

If your jaw is often painful, it locks or clicks when you open your mouth or you have frequent headaches, neck-aches or earaches, you might have TMJ dysfunction (TMJD).

Your TMJ (temporomandibular joints) are the two joints that connect your lower jaw to your upper jaw. If these joints are damaged or put under strain, you may feel pain in and around your jaw, especially when you use your jaw to chew, talk or yawn.

TMJ disorders are quite common, affecting up to 30 percent of the population, but they’re still more mysterious than other orofacial problems.

Here Are 3 Facts You Might Not Know About TMJD

#1 There’s No Single Cause

If you have an oral health problem like a cavity or bleeding gums, it’s obvious to your dentist what the cause is. Unfortunately, TMJ problems aren’t that straightforward.

TMJD usually involves the jaw joints being misaligned or damaged, but this can happen for many reasons. Some of the most common are:

  • dislocation, injury or trauma to your jaw
  • a misaligned bite leading to uneven pressure in your mouth
  • osteoarthritis
  • genetics
  • stress
  • teeth grinding or jaw clenching (bruxism).

Sometimes TMJ dysfunction happens for a combination of reasons. For example, if you grind your teeth when you feel stressed, this can cause your teeth to wear unevenly. It’s not always possible to know the primary cause of TMJ problem, which is why…

#2 There’s No Single Treatment

Pinpointing the cause of your TMJ disorder is vital for getting successful treatment. Since finding the cause can be tricky, treatment planning isn’t any easier. What’s more, there’s no consensus on whether certain treatments are effective in all cases.

TMJD is sometimes only temporary, and its symptoms may be managed with pain relief medication. If your TMJD may be caused by stress, trying to avoid stressful situations or practicing meditation could help take the strain off your jaw. Muscle relaxant treatment administered by your dentist may also be an option. It’s best to discuss the suitable treatment options with your dentist.

If there’s found to be a physical problem with your jaw joints or your bite, this may require treatment by a dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Dental treatments include:

  • orthodontics to correct a misaligned bite
  • crowns to restore or lengthen worn teeth
  • a mouthguard or occlusal splint worn at night to prevent teeth grinding.

For more severe TMJ dysfunction, you may need oral surgery.

#3 Dentists May Diagnose TMJD

Even though the jaw joints aren’t usually covered by dentistry, your dentist may be more qualified than other medical practitioners to diagnose and treat TMJD. This is because there’s no widely accepted and standardised test to identify TMJ disorders, and your dentist may be more familiar with the underlying cause if it’s related to an oral health problem.

If you have TMJD symptoms such as toothache or jaw pain, your dentist will examine your mouth to check whether your teeth are misaligned, unevenly worn or show evidence of grinding. They can use this information to diagnose likely TMJD, rule out an oral health-related cause or diagnose a different condition with similar symptoms.

If you do have a TMJ disorder, your dentist may work together with your physician and other health and wellness professionals to cover all the bases and develop a holistic treatment plan.

Talk To A Dentist In Indianapolis

If you think you might have TMD or another oral health issue, make an appointment at Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center. Our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders, and we’ll work with you to develop the most suitable treatment plan.

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office at 1320 N. Post Rd Indianapolis, IN 46219 patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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Home Treatment For TMJ

Home Treatment For TMJ

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for Tempero Mandibular Joint Disorder, and THAT stands for a giant pain in the jaw. It can come about because of jaw misalignment, uneven or misplaced teeth, or the stress of tooth clenching during the night.
TMJ can have mild to extreme cases, and sometimes a slight adjustment at home can do wonders for curing the pain that comes with it.

Symptoms of TMJ

  • Do your jaw muscles feel sore and tender?
  • Is your jaw making popping or clicking sounds when you flex it open and closed?
  • Does your jaw ever get stuck open or closed?
  • Are you experiencing frequent headaches in the mornings?
  • Are you experiencing frequent dizziness?

Simple Treatments for TMJ

#1 A Simple Massage Can do Wonders for TMJ Pain.

The muscles in your jaw are inflamed and tender from staying tight for too long. Massaging the tender areas around the jaw could help them to relax, relieving the pain over time.

#2 Alternating Hot and Cold is Another Easy Home Treatment.

Use a hot water bottle, or electric blanket, and hold the heat against the outside of your jaw, and around the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. Use an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel in between heat treatments to reduce swelling by holding it in the same location for 20 minutes.

#3 Bad Habits Can Cause TMJ, Adjusting Our Habits Can Alleviate the Pain Over Time.

If you are prone to resting your head in your hands, or holding the phone between your shoulder and your jaw while you talk, this can stress your jaw. Avoid these things whenever possible. If you require both hands while talking on the phone, it is a good idea to invest in a hands free headset that will allow you to do so without clenching.

#4 Relax! Stress makes TMJ worse!

Many people will experience their first symptoms of TMJ during a period of high stress. Taking some time to relax your mind can have just as great an effect on your jaw muscles as any medicine. So breathe in, breathe out, think about the things that make you happy and let the stress melt away from you.
Of course, home therapy can only take you so far. If symptoms persist, it would wise to see your dentist as soon as you can. If the alignment issue is serious enough, you may need orthodontic treatment or a splint/mouthguard to sleep with for correcting issues with your bite.

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office at 1320 N. Post Rd Indianapolis, IN 46219 patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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Links Between TMJ Problems & Sleep Apnea Coming To Light

Links Between TMJ Problems & Sleep Apnea Coming To Light

When a friend learned that what she was eating was leading to skin rashes, she was puzzled by the connection. Yet, researchers are now connecting the dots between just how closely one system in the body influences the others.

A particular connection that is moving front-&-center is the connection between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and TMJ Problems (jaw joint) disorder.

But, how could oxygen intake during sleep be affected by problems associated with the jaw joints?

Results from a number of studies are showing a close relationship between the two disorders. In one study, one-third of participants with TMJ Disorder (TMD) also suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. Through advanced imaging technology, researchers have become better able to hone in on how the connection exists.

In another study, 75 percent of patients who were diagnosed with sleep apnea also reported pain associated with their jaw joints. This has prompted some dentists and physicians to advise their TMD patients to be tested for sleep apnea. For many, an oral appliance that resolves TMD can have dual advantages for sleep apnea sufferers.

Why Now?

It is felt that the connection hasn’t been obvious before because the “average” patient with each ailment doesn’t share much of a similar make-up.

While age is a risk factor for both genders, sleep apnea tends to be experienced by older men, (who have a 2 to 3 times higher rate of developing the disorder).

Compare this to the average TMD (temporo-mandibular joint disorder) sufferer, who are generally women in the 25 – 50 age range.

Too, the symptoms are very different. While sleep apnea suffers typically snore and are fatigued throughout the day, TMD may cause headaches, ear ringing, or dizziness.

Along with these factors are misdiagnoses that occur. When an individual complains of headaches, many are presumed to be tension headaches. Treatment is often in the form of medications that simply mask the pain, not resolve it.

Even though headaches are a common symptom of TMJ disorder and can occur in sleep apnea sufferers, both conditions are frequently overlooked as the source.

The head is a complex structure of only 10 – 11 pounds. It houses the brain, which is the body’s command center. It also mans sight, hearing, speech, taste, and communication. For all of these functions to occur properly within this small space, proper alignment and balance is vital.

OSA occurs when there are blockages to air intake passages, which can be from a saggy soft palate or a tongue that droops back too far during sleep. It doesn’t take much to cause obstruction to an adequate flow of oxygen. Fortunately, neither does it take much to correct it, in many cases.

In our office, we create small, custom-made oral appliances (mouth pieces) that adjust the position of the lower jaw ever-so-slightly. This small re-positioning can make a significant difference in one’s ability to have adequate oxygen flow throughout the night.

However, for many who suffer with the obstacles associated with sleep apnea, the position of the jaw can also relate to TMJ disorder.

When I see patients who have suffered for years, even decades, with frequent headaches, migraines, dizziness, or ear ringing, my advanced training and experience knows just how slight the disparity can be that causes the problem to occur.

For example, a crown that is one millimeter too high (that’s only 1/25th of an inch) can trigger an alignment disparity that radiates out to the jaw joints. Yet, it’s just enough to set a series of events in motion that can cause severe problems that are seemingly unrelated to bite misalignment.

TMJ Disorder can be caused by an accident or injury that alters the fit of the jaw. This can occur from contact sports, a wreck, or an injury – even those occurring many years prior. (It may take many years for the problems to emerge). However, most problems of the jaw joints stem from bite misalignment.

When a bite is misaligned, it can lead to stress and strain on the facial/head muscles and jaw joints. This is especially illustrated through worn teeth, an issue experienced by people who grind their teeth at night.

During sleep, inflamed jaw joints seek out a comfortable position. This can trigger the action of clenching (which has been measured to be forceful enough to crack a walnut) and teeth grinding. Clenching and/or grinding can cause chipped, broken, fractured, or worn teeth.

If you’ve had a crown or veneer come off during something as simple as flossing, it can be because the tooth has been enduring the forces of clenching or grinding. Fractured teeth are also telltale signs.

In addition to the TMD symptoms mentioned above, it can also cause tingling in the fingers. Again, the human body is inter-connected in an intricate way and the repercussions can be far-reaching.

For those who suffer with mild to moderate sleep apnea or TMD (or both!), the problems can be debilitating – and costly. According to the Migraine Research Foundation:

• Healthcare and lost productivity costs associated with migraine are estimated to be as high as $36 billion annually in the U.S.
• In 2015, the medical cost of treating chronic migraine was more than $5.4 billion, however, these sufferers spent over $41 billion on treating their entire range of conditions.
• Healthcare costs are 70% higher for a family with a migraine sufferer than a non-migraine affected family.

(http://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/)

For sleep apnea sufferers who drive, AAA Foundation has labeled “drowsy driving” as more dangerous than drunk driving. Falling asleep at the wheel is not uncommon for people who have sleep apnea.

By treating one problem, you may very well resolve the other. And, in many cases, our patients find that treatment is far less involved than they anticipated. Too, treatment can occur without drugs that “zombie”you out, as one patient put it.

Don’t Hesitate

If you are ready to leave your chronic headaches, migraines, and jaw strain behind, schedule a consultation with the Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indianapolis to see if you qualify for our TMJ pain relief program. Give us a call at: 317.790.2555

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office at 1320 N. Post Rd Indianapolis, IN 46219 patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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TMJ Pain Relief is Not a Myth!

TMJ Pain Relief is Not a Myth!

Do you experience chronic headaches? Migraines? You might be suffering from TMJ pain. Recent studies and treatments have shown amazing TMJ pain relief with the Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center. We can guarantee you drug-free, needle-free TMJ pain relief in a program personalized just for you.

What Makes Us Different?

The difference between our strategy and most others is that our team strives to treat the source of the pain rather than the pain itself. The point is to provide long-lasting TMJ pain relief, not just a temporary fix. Dr. Falender and the other team at Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center employ the TMJ pain best practice for head, neck, and jaw pain, and the results are remarkable.

How Do I Get Started?

When you schedule a consultation for TMJ pain relief with the Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indianapolis, you can expect the following:

  • A computerized measurement of the force balance in your mouth on a tooth-by-tooth basis
  • A computerized measurement of the disability of your muscle movements
  • Mouth movement measurements

Using these brief, non-invasive examinations, Dr. Falender can determine whether you are eligible for a TMJ pain relief program with the Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center. If you are, he’ll set you up with a specialized program that reflects your personal needs and your schedule.

Don’t Hesitate

If you are ready to leave your chronic headaches, migraines, and jaw strain behind, schedule a consultation with the Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indianapolis to see if you qualify for our TMJ pain relief program. Give us a call at: 317.790.2555

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office at 1320 N. Post Rd Indianapolis, IN 46219 patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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