TMJ Symptoms

TMJ is a disorder that takes place in the jaw joints and is often caused by grinding or clenching teeth, bad bite development, jaw tension, stress, injury, arthritis, genetics, or even allergies that affect airway development. Some common symptoms of TMJ include the following.

  • Lockjaw
  • Clicking or popping when opening/closing mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Jaw joint pain
  • Neck, shoulder, back and face pain
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Limited ability to open the mouth
  • Worn, chipped or cracked teeth/fillings
  • Pain or sensitivity of the teeth
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Vertigo
  • Insomnia/Sleep Apnea
  • Pressure of congestion in the ears
  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • Numbness in the arms, hands or fingers
  • Anxiety

Although not all of these issues can always relate to your bite balance or jaw joints, TMJ is often the root cause of neck, head or shoulder pain.

When you have unstable jaw joints or imbalanced jaw, it’s common for your body to try and correct itself. During this process, it’s possible that your muscles become fatigued, your start clenching or grinding your teeth and other TMJ symptoms start to appear like pain in your neck or behind your ears.

Once Dr. Massa diagnoses the root cause of your TMJ and determines the exact position your jaw joints and bite should reside, he can create a custom TMJ therapy plan to provide you with a lifetime of pain relief and permanently correct the issues.

TMJ Diagnosis

Since TMJ has so many different symptoms, it’s difficult to get a definite TMJ diagnosis. This can lead you to not getting the proper treatment you need for long-term relief. At Massa Dental Center, we have the tools and technology we need to offer patients an accurate TMJ diagnosis.

Your TMJ diagnosis will begin with a comprehensive dental exam of your jaw and teeth. Dr. Massa will have you move your mouth open and closed and applying pressure to certain areas to see how well everything functions.

Afterward, he will take digital x-rays to see the current resting position of all your structures including the head, neck, and jaw joints. We use a VaTech CBCT to get a 3D x-ray of all your features to get the most information possible.

We then use our advanced K7 or Biopak dental technology to track your jaw’s motion. It uses tiny magnets on your gum tissue so we can see the exact path your jaw takes when you bite down. It also tells us what your chewing pattern and range of motion looks like. Plus records EM6s of the muscles involved, allows us to accurately diagnose any bite problems and plan the most effective treatment.

Lastly, we use ULF-Tens to apply rhythmic pulses to your jaw muscles which then increases the blood flow and oxygen to them. It also causes the jaw muscles to release lactic acid and other waste products that have become constricted. Once your jaw relaxes, you might feel a sense of relief and Dr. Massa can see your optimal jaw resting position.

TMJ Treatment

With all the information collected from your diagnosis, Dr. Massa can then plan proper treatment for your TMJ. Some patients can benefit from physiologic dentistry to realign their bite and help their jaw rest in its most optimal position while other patients might just need to wear a night orthotic or sleep mandibular advancement appliance or epigenetic appliance. We can also incorporate the use of Botox to give immediate pain relief for some patients. Since we treat each patient on an individual basis, each treatment varies.

If you suffer from TMJ or think you might have it, please contact our Naples TMJ dentist to schedule a consultation. We are here to help you find the pain relief you need. Contact Massa Dental Center by calling (239) 597-7333 today.