TMJ Questions

Roseville Cosmetic Dentist serving Sacramento, Rocklin & Lincoln, CA

If I am experiencing symptoms similar to TMJ, should I go to a doctor or a neuromuscular dentist first?

TMJ / TMD is very difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be associated with other more serious conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you visit both an M.D. and a neuromuscular dentist trained in TMD diagnosis and treatments for an accurate diagnosis. It does not matter who you go to first, it's just important that you go.

Who gets TMJ?

TMJ is diagnosed more frequently in certain demographic groups, namely women, between the ages of puberty and menopause. There is a greater prevalence of TMJ problems in women during childbearing years, suggesting more research on gender specific hormones on temporomandibular joint structure and function.

How did I get TMJ?

Research has not yet determined all of the possible causes of TMJ / TMD, and few have been scientifically validated. We know that TMJ can be precipitated or aggravated by:

  • Trauma such as sports accidents or vehicle accidents
  • Certain health care procedure such as intubations
  • Oral habits such as nail biting, pencil chewing, tongue thrusting, wide yawning
  • Congenital and developmental problems of the jaw
  • Certain postures
  • Removal of wisdom teeth, root canal therapy and bridgework
  • Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • Fibromyalgia

However, TMJ symptoms are also known to occur without any identifiable cause.

Why does insurance typically not cover TMJ Treatments?

Insurance companies still agonize over whether this is a medical, dental or mental issue - demonstrating the incredible lack of information regarding the whole TMJ issue and the inability of the medical community to help treat the “whole” patient under one diagnosis.

I had a splint before and it didn't work. Isn't an orthotic the same thing?

If the tests performed by our neuromuscular dentists determine that your bite should be adjusted to a more optimum occlusion (bite), you will be given an orthotic (otherwise known as a Mandibular Repositioning Appliance) to keep your new bite in position. The optimum bite position is determined form the dynamics of the teeth, jaw joints, and the muscles. This optimum position is based upon fully rested muscles and precise jaw recordings confirmed by computerized electronic diagnostic equipment. This allows for an extremely accurate orthotic which differs from an arbitrary position commonly used by splints or nightguards where the dentist may have manipulated your lower jaw or simply had you "bite down". Traditional splints and bite guards do not take into account a better bite and as a result, do not correct the bite, allowing grinding and other symptoms unaddressed.

If you have any additional questions on TMJ / TMD, call or contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our Neuromuscular Dentists in the Roseville and Rocklin areas, and find out if your pain is a result of TMJ.