Temporomandibular joint disorders (called TMJ or TMD) are very diverse. There are at least three recognized types of TMJ (myofascial pain disorder, MPD; disc displacement (DD), and degenerative joint disorder, DJD). People can have one, two, or all three of these types of TMJ, plus other forms that might not be officially recognized or described yet. There are many potential symptoms of TMJ, but few people experience all of them. Often people have what seems to be a custom mix of symptoms.
Because TMJ is so diverse, we at the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea believe we should offer our patients a similarly diverse array of treatment options. We know that not everyone responds equally to the same treatments, and this lets us work with patients to find the approach that gives the best results for them.
Treatment Options We Offer
When you come to the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Lee’s Summit, we can offer you many different treatment options, including:
- Oral appliances
- Homeopathic remedies and medications
- Ozone therapy
- ALF appliances
- Laser and light therapy
- Rezzimax tuner therapy
- Referrals for outside treatment
Often, successful treatment combines multiple approaches to deliver long-lasting relief. To support our treatments, we might also recommend home care, such as TMJ exercises.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances for TMJ work to address TMJ symptoms by holding your jaw in a comfortable resting position. This helps reduce muscle tension that causes jaw pain and can pull your jaw out of alignment. They also protect your teeth from damage. This is a highly effective approach to TMJ treatment, and it can work as a standalone treatment.
Medications primarily work as a short-term solution. They rarely act as a standalone treatment but often accompany other treatments to help give you optimal results from your TMJ treatment. Medications might include over-the-counter medications you take without a prescription, prescription medications (pain relievers and muscle relaxants), and injectable treatments (including trigger point injections).
Ozone therapy is considered a holistic or alternative treatment for TMJ. Ozone therapy works best for DD and DJD forms of TMJ. The goal is to reduce inflammation and regenerate jaw tissues. Inflammation (swelling) in the jaw area contributes to pain and dysfunction.
Ozone therapy uses two successive injections. The first injection includes an anesthetic combined with an anti-inflammatory. This helps control pain and inflammation. Then we inject ozonized gas into the area. Ozone is unstable oxygen, which encourages it to react. This helps ozone attack bacteria and other inflammatory triggers.
The combination helps regenerate jaw tissues, which can reverse damage caused by disc displacement or degenerative diseases of the jaw.
Advanced lightwire functional (ALF) appliances are a different type of oral appliance from those traditionally used for TMJ treatment. Instead of just holding your jaw in a comfortable position, ALF appliances encourage your body to grow and reshape your jaws. This helps them fit together in ways that maintain a comfortable, functional relationship between your upper and lower jaw. The goal is to have your jaws develop together in a way that relieves your TMJ symptoms without the ongoing need for an appliance or other long-term treatment.
Laser and Light Therapy
Laser and light therapies offer many potential benefits. We offer many different types of laser and light therapy using our Fotona Laser.
Photobiostimulation uses non-ionizing but coherent light energy to penetrate the tissue of your face and jaw. By increasing blood flow and reducing the volume of restricted facial tissues, it can improve blood flow, increase function, and reduce pain. The Fotona cold laser can reduce pain and inflammation. Using low-level laser energy in the red to infrared range, the laser stimulates healing through photobiomodulation, which helps jaw tissues recover from injury and reduces pain. This is the same laser we use for Nightlase snoring relief.
Rezzimax Tuner Vibration Therapy
The Rezzimax Tuner is a portable device that we can issue you for medication-free headache and stress relief. This device provides therapeutic vibrations that help stimulate nerves and blood flow. This type of massage lets people target their TMJ symptoms wherever they are. This is likely not a standalone treatment for anyone, but it is a great supportive treatment for many.
Reconstructive Dentistry and Orthodontics
Sometimes your teeth interfere with your jaw’s ability to get into and stay in a healthy, relaxed position. While ALF seeks to reshape your jaw, reconstructive dentistry and orthodontics utilize your teeth to achieve this goal.
Reconstructive dentistry can work if your teeth have been damaged by trauma, teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism), or your TMJ. It also helps with the cosmetic impact of teeth damage.
Orthodontics help straighten teeth, which has cosmetic and health benefits and can improve the resting position of your jaws.
Referrals for Outside Treatment
Although we offer many treatments for TMJ, we know that some people will benefit from treatments that we don’t offer. If we think you will benefit from treatments like physical therapy or chiropractic care, we can refer you to a treatment specialist who can support the TMJ treatments we offer. We work well with many specialists in the area, and we’re happy to work with your physical therapist or chiropractor if you already have one you like.
Get Relief from TMJ in Lee’s Summit
If you are suffering from TMJ symptoms in Lee’s Summit, the TMJ dentists at the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea offers many treatment options to help you find the treatment or combination of treatments that works best for you. For help finding relief from TMJ symptoms, please call (816) 795-1000 or email us today to schedule your appointment at our office in Lee’s Summit, MO.