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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

I thought this was good reading so I am posting. I did post it on another board and thought some of you may be interested in reading it.
Stay well and feel good.

Here it is:

- Take Control of TMJ
- 3 Rules of TMJ treatment
- What is a TMJ Specialist?
- TMJ- Four-Step Treatment Plan
Take Control of TMJ

Become an informed consumer/patient.
Cross over the lines between healthcare
professionals. Decide what procedures and
treatment are right for you.

Each professional uses the tools they
have been trained to use in working with
TMJ. A dentist makes mouthguards and
grinds teeth, a orthodontist uses braces
to change the bite, an oral surgeon
performs surgery, a MD prescribes drugs,
a chiropractor adjusts joints, a physical
therapist works with muscles, the list
goes on.



Rule #1 - Take control of your own

Rule #2 - Focus on reversible and non-
invasive procedures. Go easy and keep it

Rule #3 - Obtain several independent
opinions before agreeing to invasive and
non-reversible procedures.

What is a TMJ specialist?

There is no specialty for treatment of
TMJ. Those who use the title of TMJ
specialist are self-proclaimed experts.
There is no formal recognized program to
certify health practitioners as TMJ
specialist. Training, if any, may be
incomplete or limited to one way of
thinking. Training may come from a
teaching university or weekend seminar.


FACT: TMJ Specialists are self-
proclaimed. There is not a standardized
certification for TMJ Specialist.

FACT: In an ADA survey, 60% of dentist
making over 1 million dollars a year
treated facial pain.


Survey Results

What are the top rated causes of TMJ.
Survey results show the following:

#1 - Clenching or grinding of the teeth

#2 - Stress

#3 - Trauma

#4 - Occlusion

#5 - Whiplash

#6 - Orthodontics/Braces

Q. What do stress, trauma, occlusion,
whiplash and orthodontics have in common?

A. Each can cause or increase teeth
clenching and grinding (bruxing)
resulting in TMJ symptoms.

Stress, trauma, occlusion, whiplash, and
orthodontics are all initiators of an
elevated bruxing level. Both TMJ injury
and/or bruxing may be responsible for
initial TMJ symptoms.

Once bruxism is started, bruxing
perpetuate the TMJ symptoms and the
associated pain. As pain increases,
bruxing also increases, making the
problem worse. A bruxing pain cycle
develops perpetuating the TMJ problem.
The pain cycle continues until external
intervention acts to decrease the bruxing


FACT: Stress, Trauma, Occlusion,
Whiplash, and Orthodontics can cause
increased bruxing.

FACT: Once initiated the bruxing pain
cycle continues until interrupted.

FACT: Bruxing may not have started the
problems but will perpetuate it.

Four-Step Program

Getting better may mean "starting all
over again"; but this time, take control
and proceed in a controlled fashion.

Below is a 4-step plan for managing your
TMJ problem. Follow each step in order
for best results.

The four-step plan typically takes 8-12
Weeks. The goal is to be symptom free.

Step 1- Exam/Evaluation

Step 2- Control Clenching & Grinding

Step 3- Secondary treatment

Step 4- Invasive care

1) If you haven't already had an
examination by a dentist or MD, call and
get an appointment. The examination is
used to make sure, an obvious life-
threatening problem does not exist.
Evaluation could include imagining of the
TM joints if physical damage or disease
is suspected. (DO NOT buy the splint!)

2) Determine if you clench or grind
your teeth (bruxism) and bring behavior
under control. This cannot be determined
by examination. Once bruxing is under
control and the cycle is broken, symptoms
due to bruxing will go away. Controlling
bruxing is easy, safe, non-invasive,
and reversible. (Splints do not control

3) Once bruxing is controlled include
additional therapies to eliminate any
remaining symptoms. Have dentist evaluate
occlusion, physical therapist, or
chiropractor for neck and back pain, etc.
Prior TMJ treatment may need to be redone
or undone.

4) As a last resort and upon multiple
independent opinions you may need
invasive care. Less then 2% of TMJ
patients require surgery.


FACT: Many TMJ patients have been injured
for life, through non-reversible
procedures that were unnecessary and

FACT: Nightguards, splints, appliances do
not control nighttime clenching and
grinding habits.

Where TMJ Patients - Become Their Own

TMJ is a complicated problem that affects
millions of patients. There is not a
single cause or solution to TMJ. Each TMJ
patient must be treated individually
to meet the specific health needs of the
individual requiring care.

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