TMJ Treatment and Pain Relief in Westchester, NY
Effective TMJ Treatment begins with a thorough examination and a proper
diagnosis. There are many factors that may contribute to a TMJ disorder, some of them dental and some not. In order to be effective we have to start with a proper diagnosis to both understand your condition and the factors that have contributed to it.
With 32 years of experience and training as a TMJ specialist in all of the TMJ treatments used in dentistry, as well as, training in Acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, and Cranial Sacral therapy; Dr Lerner is well prepared to assist you in resolving your TMJ problem. He is a TMJ, Head, Neck, and Facial Pain expert and has helped many sufferers of TMJ Disorders who have suffered pain and disability before finding their way to his office, located in Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, NY.
There are other dentists who treat TMJ. There are few with the depth of training and experience that Dr Lerner has. Dr Lerner himself had suffered with TMJ symptoms from the time he was a kid. As he says in telling his story “ I thought everyone had headaches...it was uncomfortable for me to smile because of the tension I had in my jaw. After seeking help from dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and osteopaths I finally came upon the solution to my problems. This has led me to develop my own system of treatment that treats each patient in a manner that is appropriate for them, rather than trying to treat everyone the same.”
What is TMJ?
The letters, TMJ, are a commonly used abbreviation of the words Temporo-Mandibular Joint. This is the joint that is found in front of the ear and connects the jawbone to the skull. Proper function of the TMJ is dependent on the maintenance of healthy teeth with a properly balanced bite.
Often times the term “TMJ” is used to describe a broader condition that may involve strain within the muscles of the jaw and neck as well as the bones of the skull and face. This is more accurately described as TMD or Temporo-mandibular Disorder.
The effects of TMD are not limited to the head, neck, and jaw and have potential to effect the function of the whole body. This is one of the reasons why TMJ disorders are often overlooked and mis-diagnosed. More on that later.
We have seen many cases where the correction of the underlying jaw problem has led to relief of chronic back problems, problems breathing, difficulty walking, foot problems, digestive problems, fatigue, and generalized stress.
We recently had a patient who came in with a toothache. Another dentist told her she needed root canal treatment and she wanted a second opinion. It turn out that the pain being was caused by her bite putting too much pressure on her tooth.
We made her a simple bite support we call a bite jig to be worn on her lower front teeth to keep pressure off the sore tooth. The next week she came back grateful for the relief of her toothache, and even better she said wearing the bite support had given her relief of severe debilitating back pain. She had been a her wits end with the back pain. Had been told by doctors that only surgery offered hope of relief.
How Do You Know You Have A TMJ / TMD Disorder?
There are many different symptoms of TMJ. When the TM Joint is not working properly, you may experience noise and/or TMJ pain as you open and close your mouth. You may experience pain in your jaw muscles as you chew and even when at rest. You might also experience ear symptoms (ear pain, stuffiness or itching, loss of hearing, dizziness, tinnitus) or eye symptoms (pain in or behind the eyes, blurring of vision).
You could experience pain in a tooth or sensitivity of the teeth. You might experience chronic headache or migraine. There could be pain any where in the face, head, or neck. It is not uncommon to see people whose only complaint is that they tend to get a stiff neck. Sometimes the major complaint may be low back pain. Grinding or clenching of the teeth are also a sure sign of a TMJ disorder.
How Are TMJ / TMD Problems Corrected?
The treatment of each person suffering from TMJ disorder must be tailored to the particular needs of the individual. A careful study must be done to clearly define the nature of the your problem. This involves a thorough consultation and a thorough examination.
During the examination an evaluation is made of the sites of your pain, as well as evaluating the functional integration of related body systems. Often we will make plaster models of your teeth to help us in understanding how your bite may contribute to your condition. In some cases we may use special x-rays of the TMJ and computerized neuromuscular analysis of jaw function.
We often begin TMJ / TMD treatment with gentle pain relieving techniques drawn from Acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, and Cranial-Sacral Therapy.
When appropriate we will provide TMJ treatments with moist heat packs and / or Cold Laser Therapy.
We may use different bite appliances, that are used in sequence to provide corrective support to the bite to relax and balance your jaw muscles and in turn the muscles through your body.
The goal is to bring the TM joint and the muscles of the jaw into a comfortable and healthful balance. It is often important for patient's to receive appropriate care from either an osteopath, a chiropractor, or a physical therapist during this time to ensure that the neck and spine are also brought into proper alignment. Once comfort and balance have been achieved it may be appropriate to discuss the correction of your bite with either Orthodontics and / or Restorative Dentistry.
Read on to learn more about TMJ and Cranial Therapy.
Our patient’s speak about the results of their TMJ Treatment
I want you to know that I have not forgotten about you and am eternally grateful for all that you have done for me. I have been doing quite well with the TMJ. ..... I am truly grateful to you!
- Biological General Dentistry
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Bio-compatibility Screening of Materials Used
- Safe Removal of Mercury Amalgam Fillings
- Natural Integrative Therapy for Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
- TMJ Cranial Therapy
- Dental Somatic Integration™
- The Dental Treatment of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
- Dental Acupuncture
- Applied Kinesiology
- Dental Implants