TMJ Treatment – Chelmsford Dentist

Orthodontics | Occlusion | Malocclusion | Bruxism/Grinding | Clenching | Headaches

Temporomandibular Disease (TMD) is associated with the Temporomandibular Joint, better known as the “TMJ”. This is the ball and socket joint inside your jaw that allows all jaw movement to occur. Because they are the only two joints in your head, they are very sensitive. Problems with these joints can lead to extreme pain and discomfort, ultimately causing serious health problems. If you experience pain when moving your jaw, you may have an injured joint. TMD does not only affect the specific joint, but the muscles, tendons and ligaments around them that allow your jaw to move. Because it is such a serious condition, you should seek help right away to prevent any future damage. Fortunately, Dr. Stylos is an expert in this field and can help relieve pain or symptoms associated with your TMJ. Call our office and learn how we can help.

Recent Studies indicate that a connection with clenching and grinding(bruxism), a sign of TMD and sleep apnea, has been linked to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, ADD & ADHA, just to name a few.

TMD Solutions

Orthodontics & Occlusion (Sure Smile®)

Many times the solution to bite related problems associated with TMD and sleep apnea airway restriction is to move the teeth into the places they should be with orthodontic treatment. By just getting the teeth closer to where they are supposed to be, many of the problems become much easier to solve.
Dr. Stylos will perform a careful digital analysis of your mouth as part of your exam and talk with you about how orthodontics may help in your case. Depending on the difficulty of the case, Dr. Stylos will either treat you in the office with the Sure Smile® System by Dentsply, a clear aligner system that is doctor prescribed and monitored, or he will refer you to one of his trusted, long term, local orthodontic specialists.

Equilibration

When your orthodontic phase is finished, you and Dr. Stylos will re-evaluate what will need to be done to finalize what will keep your teeth in place and not “move back” to where they were before orthodontic treatment started, a very common complaint.
The process of Equilibration is needed after orthodontics since it is very unlikely that every tooth on top will match perfectly with every tooth on the bottom, especially any pre-orthodontic dentistry such as fillings, sealants or crowns, because that “bite” no longer exists. This means the forces are different on the teeth and it needs to be balanced and adjusted. Think of it just like when a dentist makes sure your bite is correct after he does a filling, except with Equilibration he is checking your whole mouth because your whole “bite” has changed.
Dr. Stylos helps patients understand the importance of Equilibration on the long term success of the case and why you will get a healthy, comfortable, beautiful smile.

Occlusion

Occlusion, or your “Bite”, is the normal and proper way your mouth is designed to do all your eating, drinking, chewing, smiling and laughing comfortably and effortlessly.  A good occlusion will make it easier to maintain and keep your teeth healthy and strong. When you do not have a good bite, called malocclusion, it can result in damaging conditions such as Bruxism/Grinding, Clenching, Headaches, Neck Pain or loose or fractured teeth. Dr. Stylos has have advanced training and understands how to treat these problems and most importantly prevent these problems from getting worse. If you or a family member are having any of these problems call today to see how Dr. Stylos can help make a huge impact on their dental health and comfort. Having expert knowledge means that Dr. Stylos builds a customized ideal bite into everything he does in a patients mouth. This means outcomes are better and longer lasting.

Malocclusion

A “Bad Bite” can be one of the most painful and disguised dental problems surfacing today. Many patients suffering from teeth movement experience problems particularly when biting. This is called malocclusion, and is often linked with TMJ. A bad bite occurs when your jaw muscles are having difficulty performing tasks such as eating, speaking and generally moving.
You may be suffering from TMJ or Malocclusion if you feel clicking, grinding, sinus pressure, breaking of teeth, ringing ears, head and neck pain, or clenching. Because these symptoms may occur in your sleep, it is important to talk to with us today so we can help design a treatment plan that will provide relief and give you back the ability to eat, chew and smile comfortably again. Dr. Stylos has the advance training that will make you confident that great dental comfort is now possible for you!

Bruxism/Grinding

Bruxism or “Grinding”, like other TMJ-related habits, affects all muscles in the mouth and jaw area. Recent Studies are now finding a connection between bruxism and sleep apnea with many body wide (systemic) health problems associated with it. This disease is most often described by the phrase “gnashing or grinding of teeth” which includes incredible tooth pressure into the jaw. Though many people consider this a mild habit, it can lead to traumatic and damaging results if left untreated. Most often, this grinding of the teeth occurs at night, leaving patients unaware of how bad this self inflected damage may be.

If you experience pain in your ears, head, neck or jaw, discomfort in any oral area or having poor sleep, you may be experiencing the aftermath of night time bruxism. There are various treatments for those who have been unknowingly grinding their teeth. Depending on the severity of your case, you should speak with us about which option would be most effective and comfortable for you.

Clenching

If your teeth are experiencing movement, it may be because you are clenching your teeth at night in your sleep. Dental clenching can cause worn down teeth, loose teeth, teeth that are chipped at the gum line or fractured teeth. Dr. Stylos and his staff are expects in finding these problems before they happen. If the damage has already occurred, Dr. Stylos will have many options to correct the damage and prevent further damage from happening. Call and ask to come in for an exam and learn how we can help you!

Headaches/Neck Pain

Although headaches can be the result of countless reasons in our fast-moving world, one cause of headache pain may be jaw-related. If you are experiencing frequent headaches, neck pain, or general sensitivity in your teeth, you may be suffering from a damaging oral habit called Bruxism or Grinding. Call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stylos to diagnose your headaches. Together, we may find a solution so you can eliminate the pain of daily headaches with a simple, comfortable, custom fitted device that can change your life!
Having an oral habit disorder can be a pain in the neck -literally. Don’t spend another day in pain or discomfort due to one of these activities. Come in for a visit. We will evaluate the areas around your neck to discover if the reason is tooth-related. Let us help you begin the process to free you from dental related neck pain.

Bite Splint Therapy

Sometimes patients for one reason or another decline or are not immediately ready to be orthodontically treated. In these cases Dr. Stylos may recommend Bite Splint Therapy which can provide two important functions. It can be a way to bring fast relief to a patient with TMD pain and allow testing of a dental treatment plan without making major changes in a patients mouth by using a removable customized hard appliance. Over a few short series of appointments to adjust the removable appliance, the dentist and patient gain confidence in what next steps will be and their effectiveness. If success in solving the patients issues of pain and developing comfort and functional harmony (jaw joint, muscle, teeth, gums) then effectively you have a dental prescription for success while providing physical therapy for the jaw. This is very different from a mouth guard which is a non-customized hard or soft appliance with no scheduled follow up visits.
The other outcome of Bite Splint Therapy is that a patient’s jaw symptoms may actually become worse. Although this is not what the patient or dentist hopes for, it is important to know. It helps in leading to a correct diagnosis, a treatment that will help solve the root cause of the problem (joint structural damage, airway obstruction) ultimately to the patient’s benefit.

Sleep Apnea Solutions

Sleep Apnea/Snore Appliance

More and more evidence has shown that a connection is being made with oral health and overall health. Recently, the quantity of the good quality reparative sleep a person is getting is tremendously important to our immune system that increases the chances to having a healthy and productive life.

Studies upon studies have documented that many dental factors can affect the amount of air that the person can take in during sleep. A person’s entire health history can move in either a positive or a negative way just by how aware taking care of their oral health is and what it means to the quality of their sleep.

Cutting edge physicians are recognizing the important roles that dentist play is helping their patient’s get diagnosis earlier before life changing and even life ending occur.

Dr. Stylos and his team have now added to their already comprehensive exam, a quick and easy sleep apnea screening test so we can better help care for your patients. If it is determined through a sleep study, either brought to our office by the patient through their physician or facilitated through our office . Dr. Stylos can make a customized oral appliance that can be an alternative to CPAP and make a dramatic improvement in patient quality of sleep, health, productivity and outlook on life!

In Our Patient’s Words…

 

Chelmsford Dentist Dr. Lou Stylos -The Gentle Dentist logo

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Smiles by Stylos …a dental experience that will exceed your expectations!