What is TMJ disorder treatment with a specialist in Dothan, AL?
Posted By Dr Nathan Pfister
Patients in the Dothan, AL area who have received a diagnosis of TMJ disorder (TMD) from their primary doctor are welcome to speak to Dr. Nathan Pfister and Dr. Brian Pfister at Biodentist Alabama about effective treatment options from a specialist in the field.
What is TMJ disorder?
The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that hinges the jaw to the skull and allows it to open and close. However, there are times when it may begin to malfunction. This can cause a variety of issues to occur, including:
Clicking and popping of the jaw when opening and closing the mouth
Locking of the jaw
Pain and discomfort in the jaw, ear, and neck area
Discomfort while eating or speaking
When patients first find out they have a problem with their jaw, they may be worried about what treatment options are available to them to solve the issue. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive treatment for individuals to consider – oral appliance therapy.
What is TMJ treatment with oral appliance therapy?
When TMJ has been diagnosed, patients will find that oral appliance therapy is one of the most effective ways of addressing their problem. Oral appliance therapy is the use of an oral device to help keep the jaw aligned. This appliance may be worn just at night or during the day, depending on the severity of the condition. It reduces the tension caused by bruxism that can result in pain, and does not require any invasive treatment.
What other treatment options are available for TMJ disorder?
If it has been determined that the condition is too severe to respond to oral appliance therapy, patients may want to consider alternative solutions such as orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment can be used to realign the jaw and the bite to reduce the problems associated with TMJ disorder. Additionally, patients may learn certain massage techniques for the jaw area to relax the muscles and reduce discomfort. Sometimes, a combination of treatments may be used, including orthodontics, oral appliance therapy, and touch point treatments. By speaking with a TMJ specialist, patients can learn about their choices and work with a professional to achieve the results they require.
How do you diagnose a condition such as TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder is often diagnosed with x-rays to look at the alignment and structure of the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. Often, the pain can radiate elsewhere, either up to the ears or down the neck, which may indicate a problem with the jaw joint. Additionally, patients may come into their dental practice complaining of a locking jaw or other specific jaw concerns which lead our team to consider the chance of TMJ disorder being the issue.
Why treat TMJ disorder?
Just like any other condition that brings pain and discomfort to patients, TMJ disorder is often treated to give patients a better quality of life. Patients don’t want to always be uncomfortable due to a condition that can be effectively treated without an impact on their life. Dr. Nathan Pfister and Dr. Brian Pfister also ensure that the treatment chosen is appropriate for their lifestyle while providing the relief patients seek. By treating TMJ disorder with any of the available options, patients can also avoid the regular use of over-the-counter pain medications that they may have been using to keep their discomfort under control. By treating the condition, patients will be able to avoid pharmaceuticals and enjoy a medication-free lifestyle!
Who diagnoses TMJ disorder?
This depends on the professional a patient seeks. Sometimes, patients have their primary care physician evaluate their mouth to determine the cause of the pain, often getting referred to a dental professional. Other patients may speak about their concerns to their dentist and get a proper diagnosis at the dental office instead.
Interested in finding out more about TMJ disorder and other conditions that may be affecting your smile?
Contact Dr. Nathan Pfister and Dr. Brian Pfister, along with their family-friendly team, at Biodentist Alabama by calling (855) 939-5566. Their staff provides patients in the Dothan, AL area with a wide selection of services including TMJ disorder diagnostics and treatment. Their practice is conveniently located at 200 Parkwest Circle, Suite 1 and is readily available to assist patients of all ages!
Dr. Pfister's passion for non-invasive biologic dentistry began while practicing dentistry in Hawaii and he learned of the power of ozone in dentistry. From Hawaii, Dr. Pfister moved to his hometown of Upland as the protégé of the world-renowned ozone dentist Dr. Bill Domb...
Dr. Brian Pfister was born and raised in Upland, CA. He attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, graduating with a degree in exercise physiology with a minor in chemistry. From Idaho, Dr. Brian returned to southern California to continue dental training at Western University College of Dental Medicine.