If headaches, migraines, facial pain, and sensitive teeth are familiar, then Dr. Patrick Carroll and Dr. Deborah Shoemaker might have a solution. These common symptoms are side effects of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, known commonly as TMJ dysfunction or TMD. As neuromuscular dentists with training from the leading school for TMD treatment, the Las Vegas Institute, Dr. Carroll and Dr. Shoemaker can help alleviate these symptoms and restore facial-dental harmony.
TMD involves a misalignment or over-stimulation of the joints and muscles in the jaw. Symptoms include frequent headaches, migraines, jaw or mouth pain, ringing in the ears, and neck or upper back pain. Our doctors treat TMD differently from most other dentists in this area. During their extensive LVI training, they were taught how to use a low-frequency TENS machine to relax your jaw and help it find the most comfortable and natural position.
TMD can sometimes cause the teeth to come together incorrectly. Even the slightest misalignment can put tremendous pressure on very concentrated points on your teeth, and this can cause quite a bit of pain. To correct this, we can perform something called an equilibration/occlusal adjustment. We’ll take an impression of your teeth, find the high pressure spots, and gently reshape your teeth so that they come together evenly. To do this, we typically only need to remove a few millimeters of enamel.
An occlusal splint is a small, easy to use mouthpiece that a patient would wear to bed every night. It will slightly shift their jaw into a more comfortable position, and this will allow the muscles to relax and prevent the spasms that often lead to chronic pain. Every occlusal splint we provide is custom-made for each patient, assuring that they are not only extremely effective, but comfortable as well.
A TENS machine is a fantastic, high-tech approach to treating TMD that can create amazing results in just a short amount of time. It offers an excellent, non-invasive treatment method for people suffering from TMD that doesn’t require medication or surgery.
This device uses the power of low-frequencies to gently relax the agitated muscles of the jaw in order to help them heal. Many people actually are able to find more relief with the TENS machine than simply using pain medication.
To use the TENS machine, we will attach electrode pads to your face that are connected to the machine which will produce the low frequencies. Once we turn it on, you’ll feel a slight pulse, and your muscles will start to relax almost instantly. Most people say it feels like a gentle massage! You’ll be shocked at how quickly chronic pain will just melt away in a few minutes.
Does your jaw constantly feel stiff? Does it ever lock or get stuck? Do you have frequent migraines or ear aches and can’t figure out why? If so, you may be suffering from TMD. You can contact our office today to get a proper diagnosis, and if that is indeed the case, we can provide you just the right treatment to help you get relief.