TMJ is an easy acronym for “Temporomandibular Joint” that refers to the temporal bone of the skull in front of the ear on each side of the head.
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) is a collective term that refers to the dysfunction of the masticatory (chewing) muscles, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or both, embracing a number of clinical problems. The disc in each TM joint is made up of cartilage located between the two articulating bones that allows the jaw to glide easily back and forth. Therefore, when malfunctioning TM joint becomes stretched or damaged, this can adversely affect the way one chews, yawn, talks, or swallows.
Our thanks to Dr. Westesson, of the University of Rochester, for allowing us to utilize parts of his videos to demonstrate Temporomandibular Disorder.
Ear fullness or pain
Clicking, popping or grating on the jaw joint
Limited jaw opening or locking
Pain when chewing
Neck pain or stiffness
Difficulty closing the teeth together
Asymmetric jaw movement
TMJ related problems can often be successfully treated without surgery. The treatment plans we utilize at our Fort Collins TMJ/TMD treatment center generally focuses on calming the surrounding muscles and ligaments, relieving the pain, and reducing pressure on the TM joint. This is achieved by creating a custom-fitted oral appliance that is hardly noticeable since it is made of clear acrylic, which is worn by the patient on either the upper or lower teeth. The orthotics are specifically designed for the patient’s medical needs so that it relieves strain and pressure and allows overstretched ligaments and overworked muscles to heal.
We provide many treatment options in conjunction with appliance therapy at our Fort Collins TMJ/TMD treatment center:
Ultrasound – A therapeutic treatment modality that stimulates the tissue beneath the skin's surface using very high frequency sound waves. Benefits include:
Speeding up the healing process from the increase in blood flow in the treated area.
Decrease in pain from the reduction of swelling and edema.
Gentle massage of muscles tendons and ligaments in the treated area because no strain is added and any scar tissue is softened.
Neural Therapy – Neural Therapy is based on the theory that trauma can produce long-standing disturbances in the electrochemical function of tissues. Among the types of tissues affected by trauma include scars, nerves or a cluster of nerves called ganglions. We use different injections to diagnose and treat pain disorders and headaches.
Laser Therapy - The FDA-cleared low level laser therapy (LLLT) technology is applied with a hand-held applicator providing targeted super pulsed laser light that stimulates cell regeneration. Laser treatment is a 400mw, 810 Infra red, therapeutic healing laser used to reduce pain and help release muscle or tendon trigger points that are tender to palpation. The laser wand is placed externally or intra orally in a specific place on the muscle or tendon.