The idea of curing TMJ needs to be looked at in several ways.
Doctors do not actual heal anyone but what they can do is remove the impediments to healing. The body has a natural capacity to heal, the best medicine allows it to heal.
TMJ disorders are a type of repetitive strain injury often made worse by parafuctional habits such as clenching or bruxing. The underlying structure often has percipitative problems but the natural adaptability of the tissues, especially muscles allows function until the demands exceed the ability to adapt. The system gives out at it’s weakest link.
Physiologic Dentistry positions the jaw ideally to require minimal adaptation. Excessive adaptation causes the problems but reducing the need for excessive adaptation creates an environment for healing. The physiologic orthotic positions the jaw in the ideal position for healing.
Can you really cure any problem you have had for many years?
The answer is no, because living in pain for years has changed you forever. The process called neuroplasticity creates permanent changes in our nervous system and how we perceive pain The only cure would be a “DO-OVER” ON YOUR LIFE WHICH IS NOT POSSIBLE
If a total cure (do-over) is not possible what are the goals of treatment?
Living a high quality of life without pain is a good start. Healing, normal function are all parts of healing. When you jaw problem is no longer a negative issue in your life it is enormous.
Physiologic Dentistry and diagnostic orthotics, airway appliances for snoring and/or sleep apnea, Trigger Point injections, Prolotherapy, Sphenopalatine Ganlion Blocks, DNA Appliances to orthopedically correct the underlying issues may all be tools used to treat TMJ problems.
The most important tool a dentist has in treating patients is his ears. Understanding of the problem is understanding the patient. Each and every patient is unique and there is never a one size fits all solution, but the basic principles remain the same. The SOAP narrative is the way physicians are taught to evaluate a problem
S is the subjective information that we learn from the patient
O is the objective information such as radiographs and use of computerized scans, EMG, Sonography
A is the Assesment when this information is assimilated to establish
P a plan. A method to address the subjective and objective information after Assesment.