TMJ Disorders and Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliances
Individuals who have been diagnosed with a temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) disorder usually also suffer from other symptoms such as facial pain, neck, and shoulder pain and headaches. These individuals also grind or clench their teeth and are often recommended to wear a bite guard, which at times only gives temporary relief.
With the biteguard therapy, TMJ surgery is sometimes also recommended to the patient, especially if their symptoms still persist. Sometimes this treatment does not solve the problem because of a misaligned maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) which causes the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) disorder leading to:
- 1. Facial Pain
- 2. Headaches or Migraines
- 3. Dizziness
- 4. Ear Pain
- 5. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- 6. Clenching and grinding of the teeth due to improper bite
- 7. Spasms on the facial muscles
- 8. Tenderness on the facial muscles
- 9. Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
- 10. Pain of difficulty in chewing, yawning or opening wide
- 11. Jaws that get stuck! or lock.
- 12. Accidents, including injuries to the jaw, neck or head or even diseases such as arthritis may cause TMJ disorders
When patients clench or grind their teeth, the chewing muscles get tired causing them to go into spasms.
The photograph below shows a patient who was suffering from severe headaches and TMJ pain. Her eye doctor advised her that it could be a TMJ problem because the result of her eye examination proved negative in causing her headaches.
As you can see the bite stick goes up to the right and the upper model of her teeth also shows that it is up to the right. This is what was causing her TMJ pain.
This patient was treated with the advanced lightwire functional (ALF) appliances. During treatment the patient experienced that her headaches disappeared and so did her TMJ pain.
The ALF appliances are worn in the mouth to fit the upper and lower jaws. They are removed when eating and are adjusted once a month.