What is TMD, TMJ pain and facial pain?
TMD or TMJ Pain, Headache and Facial pain are serious life altering problems. The National Institute of Health (NIH) states that over 10 million people in the US suffer from TMJ problems. Both men and women experience these, but 90% of those seeking treatment are women in their childbearing years. Physiological differences in pain processing explains why women suffer these conditions more than men. So what is the cause of this? We don’t definitively know but literature demonstrates the main causes to be directly correlated with breathing problems (sleep apnea), chronic pain, and physical trauma. Additionally we know that if left untreated TMD problems can lead to chronic headaches, neck pain, and migraines.
Headaches, Craniofacial Pain, and TMJ pain is an emerging specialty that bridges the gap between medicine and dentistry. Patients we see usually aren’t sure who they should contact to resolve their symptoms listed below. Often times they have been to various providers prior in search of solutions. What can be confusing is that migraines, headaches, ear pain, ringing in the ear, dizziness, and eye pain can be coming from different parts of the head and neck making it challenging to figure out what doctor is the best to see. The patients we see come in with the following chief complaints:
- Headaches (daily, recurrent, nightly)
- Ear pain, fullness, congestion, wooshing
- Jaw pain, clicking, popping, crunching, locking, noises
- Teeth clenching, grinding, gnashing
- Face pain, numbness, tingling, shocking
- Eye pain
- Neck pain
- Base of skull of pain
- Pain when chewing
- Throat pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Difficulty opening mouth
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Muscle twitching
- Bite feels off or different than before
- Numbness in hands or arms
- Burning mouth
How is TMD and facial pain diagnosed?
A proper diagnosis will tell you what your primary problem is and where it came from. This information is a breath of fresh air. Often times just knowing the why puts patients at ease and confident that a solution has been identified.
Our diagnostic workup is unlike any other. We take a great deal of time reviewing your medical history in detail and completing a very comprehensive head and neck evaluation utilizing cutting edge technology. Proper diagnosis and emphasis on origin rather than symptoms alone is key to successful, long term treatment results. After proper diagnosis, a specific non-surgical, treatment plan for rehabilitation is developed for the unique needs of each individual patient.
How do I pursue a pain free life?
After receiving your diagnosis a specific individualized treatment solution will be given to you in detail. Our non-surgical treatment solutions focus on setting up the body for optimal healing and restoring function in the absence of pain. We utilize a wide range of treatment solutions depending on your individual diagnosis. These may include:
Decompression Appliance Therapy
Physical Therapy Treatment
Multi-discipline referral coordination