TMJ Disorders & Neuromuscular Dentistry (TMD)

What is TMJ?

TMJ, or “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder”, is a condition in which an individual has pain and discomfort due to the joints in their jaw. In general, it is when muscles, jaw joint and teeth are not working in harmony together. Symptoms of TMJ are oftentimes clenching, grinding, toothaches, headaches, cracked teeth, jaw tension, limited mouth opening, and clicking or “popping” of the jaw joints.

How can it be treated?

Neuromuscular Dentistry is the science of placing the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ. While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard tissues, soft tissues, muscles and nerves. Dr Pastorino understands the complex relationship between hard and soft facial tissues and works to make that relationship a harmonious one.

The treatment option of choice is typically a TMJ device. This is an oral appliance that is used to help straighten and realign the patient’s jaw and bite.

TMJ appliances from Dr Pastorino are custom made dental appliances. These oral appliances are an alternative to other treatments, such as restorations and orthodontics.

Professional oral appliances will help TMJ sufferers more effectively than those purchased over-the-counter. Over-the-counter TMJ appliances do not work because they cannot mimic a proper bite. Each individual is different, and everyone has a different bite. In order for a TMJ appliance to be effective at treating the condition, it must be professionally custom-made to each individual patient to provide the best results and treatment.

TMJ device is just one of the options to treat TMJ. In fact, it doesn’t necessarily resolve the problem permanently. It is a substitute to an ideal bite, or a substitute for the true fix when the patient wears it. What fixes TMJ, assuming there is no internal joint damage, which is 90% of the time, is to fix the bite to its ideal form, i.e. maximum inter-cuspation at the hinge axis of the jaw and posterior disclusion at excursive movement of the jaw.

How much does treatment cost?

Many patients can claim for TMJ appliances on their health insurance, as well as coverage for the cost of restorations needed for repairing damage caused by TMJ and for correcting the individual patient’s bite. This can make TMJ treatment and oral appliances affordable for most anyone who is suffering from this disorder.

At the Colonnade Dental Centre, Dr Pastorino can help diagnose these symptoms and alleviate the pain and discomfort they can cause.