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TMJ Pain and Craniosacral Therapy


 

TMJ PAIN 

If you have pain on the TMJ area of your face the discomfort can be very debilitating. If your bite is not proper it can cause problems such as headaches, shoulder and neck pain and pain on the sides of your face among other symptoms. Trauma or injuries to the mouth or crooked teeth can cause your teeth not to join together as they should and that can cause tension in muscles which leads to chronic pain.  It is possible to restore your bite in order to alleviate the symptoms of pain, and in some cases, in my practice in conjunction with Laser Therapy, I may also prescribe a treatment called biodynamic craniosacral therapy to care for patients who present with TMJ problems.

The term "biodynamic craniosacral therapy" might be unknown to you, therefore the description displayed below is intended to give you a general idea about what kind of treatment this is and what is the work involved in this type of therapy.  

If you have issues with sensitive teeth, jaw "popping", facial pain, or any other condition related to the jaw area, I invite you to call my office to schedule a consultation appointment.  That way your condition will be assessed and a possible treatment discussed with you.

 

What is Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy?

It is the practice of diagnosing and treating dysfunctions in a patient's body by means of having the practicioner use a very light touch (about 5 grams) to contact the patient's head or any other area that needs attention. Biodynamic craniosacral therapy addresses the relationship of a patient's central nervous system (CNS) with all the other systems of the person's body, in order to promote relief of unwanted conditions.  Working using the craniosacral therapy approach is a process of helping the patients bring up their natural healing resources, promoting relief and improvement of their condition.  This type of treatment can be very helpful for patients who have TMJ pain.     

 

What is TMJ? 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a structural landmark formed  by the meeting of a small area of the bones on the side of the skull (temporal bones) and a portion of the the lower jaw bone (condyles) plus cartilage and ligaments. You can feel that area when you place your fingers right in front of your ears while you gently open and close your mouth. Those structures are supposed to function together in a clever way with the participation of a range of muscles. Pain radiating from those muscles is a common temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) complaint and can be severely debilitating. 

Often when people have TMJ dysfunction, or syndrome, they have other problems such as ringing in the ear, frequent headaches, jaw "popping", dizziness, facial pain, neck pain, anxiety, sinusitis, stress, teeth grinding, sensitive teeth, even difficulty walking, just to mention a few, since the symptoms associated with TMJ syndrome are many. Those problems are frequently interconnected and a detailed detective work is required in order to sort out their cause.  Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is one of the treatments of choice in my practice to address those conditions. 

In my practice, when a patient undergoes treatment for some of the conditions related to temporomandibular dysfunction, the treatment  initially consists of a comprehensive oral examination, x-rays, and a craniosacral evaluation. At some point molds are taken of the patient's teeth and stone models are prepared for further more detailed study. The periodontal condition of the patient is evaluated, any bite interference is eliminated and  restoration of any broken teeth is recommended and addressed in order to re-establish the health of the patient's teeth because teeth and gums should always be kept in good health. The treatment of TMJ conditions usually takes multiple visits and biodynamic craniosacral therapy work can be incorporated throughout the sequence of treatment.

If a patient presents with TMJ related pain, the pain can be because of a dysfunction on the TMJ structures and their surroundings or it can be due to a dysfunction in other parts of the body.  All parts of the body are connected, and sometimes a problem in one area is a result of a problem situated in an area of the body that is not near where the pain is felt, but elsewhere. 

 

Holistic Dentistry

Sandra C. Hoffmeier, DDS, New York City Restorative, Cosmetic and Biodynamic Dentistry