TMJ Treatment: Across Illinois, Wisconsin and the Midwest

Dr. Shapira Blog 4 Comments

Why do patients travel long distances for TMJ treatment.
What I find is patients have had pain for years and think there is nothing else that can be done and then severity increases and they desperately look for an answer.

They want a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment but most of all they want to QUICKLY IMPROVE THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE.

They come across a world of treatment different than what was ever discussed with their general dentist.

It turns out most dentists know very little about treating TMJ disorders beyond simple splints.

A small group of dentists become obsessed with knowing more and more about the condition and become more and more expert about very arcane little details.

The vast majority of patients get a night guard and simple habit changes and the TMJ problems are fixed. The difficult patients either learn to live with pain or end up seeking speciatly care.

There is no specialty in TMJ treatment so usually patients seeking specialty care first go to the oral surgeons (OS) office. This is appropriate for TMJ surgery but is the last place to go for occlusal therapy for TMJ problems because most OS never look at fine tuning occlusion. OS making splints that don’t work often look for surgical answers. The one rule in TMJ treatment is avoid TMJ surgery whenever possible.

So who are the TMJ Specialists? There is a group who want to create a specialty of Oral Facial Pain and have been denied specialty status by the ADA or American Dental Association so the are creating their own specialty board and declaring themselves specialists in oral facial pain a dangerous precedent but also rather pointless becaust they want to use the medical model of treating everything with drugs.

The real specialists are dentists who come together to study the intricacies of TMJ disorders. I often call them a small group of old doctors who learn more and more about less and less eventually knowing everything about nothing. Joking aside they delve very deeply into the most minute details.

I am currently the Chair of the Alliance of TMD Organizations and there are several groups who focus on different methods of treating the disorders.

I am a Fellow of the International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics the Physiologic Group most dedicated to the underlying science involved in treatment utilizing physiologic dentistry protocols taught by the father of physiologic dentistry, Dr Barney Jankelson.

I am also a life member of the American Equilibration Society which is the oldest and largest TMJ treatment organization. They approach the disorder from a more mechanistic approach.

I always go to their annual meeting because I learn new aspects from doctors who approach treatment from a completely different approach. This group is also very focused on intricate details of treatment.

Both of these groups treat the same condition coming from a different direction. Doctors in both groups are successful.

The is another group the Academy of Craniofacial Pain (formerly academy of head neck and facial pain)who are very diverse in their approach. I would describe it as knowing less and less about more and more until they know nothing about everything (in jest) I am also a member of this group and I find they bring into the picture a wider scope of treatment possibilities.

Still another group is the American Academy of Physiological Esthetics (formerly American Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics) They are also a Physiologic Group affiliated with the Las Vegas Institute. They are very focused on physiologic Dentistry as approach to esthetic and full mouth reconstruction. LVI teaches a watered down approach to physiologic dentistry and the science but aree excellent (probably best) at hands on teaching of technique. They take a cookbook approach to Physiologic Dentistry and almost all of their work is based on scientific foundation of ICCMO and Barney Jankelson. I learned Physiologic Dentistry at ICCMO and from Barney Jankelson, Jim Garry, Barry Cooper, Dayton Krajiec and others at ICCMO but I learned to efficiently utilize it for Full Mouth reconstruction at LVIn for magnificent rehabilitations.

There are also orthodontic approaches to TMJ disorders as practised byInternational Association of Orthodontics, another excellent group primarily focused on orthodontics and secondarily on TMJ disorders but consider TMJ in all of their cases. This group is actively preventing development of TMJ disorders during orthodontic treatment.

The Sacral Occpital Chiropractic group, The Nucca Chiropractors, the At;as Orthoganol chiropractors and the Cranio/ Chirodontics group all integrate with dentists to trat TMJ disorders as part of full body function.

The field of Epigenetic Orthodontics is very new and is not yet represented by a group but ist is changing the method of treatment . I utilize Epigenetic Orthodontics routinely to finish TMJ cases after pain is resolved.

The Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine does not consider itself a TMJ organization because they treat sleep apnea. As a Diplomate of the organization I will clearly state this is their biggest failing. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that dentists treating sleep apnea with oral appliances should have expertise in treating TMJ disorders.

The NHLBI (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute) of the NIH consider Sleep Apnea to be a TMJ disorder and wrote a paper “The Cardiovascular and Sleep Consequences of YTemporomandibular Disorders”

There are two other Organizations that, in my mind have lost their way to some extent in treatment philosophy, one is the American Academy of Pain Management of which I am a Diplomat and the other is the American Academy of OroFacial Pain. Both have moved into treating functional and structural problems with drugs rather than correcting the underlying physiological issues.

I am still a member of the American Academy of Pain Management but that group is no longer part of the TMD Alliance.…

Dentist Chicago | TMJ Chicago



What our clients say | Dentist Chicago


A scientific approach,
with a personal connection


ira2Dr. Ira Shapira: “I love science. Science provides the necessary facts, to better understand people’s issues as a healthcare provider. Applying these facts properly (recognizing that every individual deserves personalized focus, attention and treatment), is the key to Effective TMJ and Sleep Disorder Solutions.”


What is a TMJ disorder?

Everyone experiences the occasional headache, shoulder pain, or sore neck. Most of the time we can dismiss the cause as nothing more than stress or our busy lives, but, when pain becomes a daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, there could be something more going on.

Learn More

What is a sleep disorder?

If you find yourself constantly battling fatigue, feeling as if your sleep is disrupted on a nightly basis, or if your family complaints about your snoring, you could have an underlying sleep disorder. There are several, common sleep issues (e.g.: sleep apnea) that plague many individuals like you.

Learn More

Why Dr. Ira Shapira?

“I like to think of my patients as though they were members of my family. I want them to have the quality of care they can appreciate and that I would expect for myself or my family. That’s why I try to stay current with the latest findings in the field of Physiologic (TMJ) and Sleep Disorder dentistry.

Learn More

Like to know more? Download our FREE eBook

  • Preventive Care 3Sleep Disorder Treatment

    When you find it difficult to sleep or your sleep is disrupted night after night, we recommend you take steps to determine if you have a sleep disorder and seek an effective remedy.

    Free Sleep Disorder E-Book
  • Frequent headaches?

    It’s time to get rid of those headaches once and for all. Set up a consultation with us to discuss the connection between your chronic headaches and a potential TMJ disorder.

    Free TMJ Disorder E-Book
  • ZahnarztNeck & Back Pain

    Once relieved of your pain, you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to comfortably move in a pain free fashion again. Normal physiology and function promotes ongoing health and wellness.

    Free TMJ Disorder E-Book

Sick and tired of TMJ pain or sleep problems?

 

Meet Dr. Ira Shapira
at Think Better Life




Dentist Chicago | TMJ Chicago



What our clients say | Dentist Chicago


A scientific approach,
with a personal connection


ira2Dr. Ira Shapira: “I love science. Science provides the necessary facts, to better understand people’s issues as a healthcare provider. Applying these facts properly (recognizing that every individual deserves personalized focus, attention and treatment), is the key to Effective TMJ and Sleep Disorder Solutions.”


What is a TMJ disorder?

Everyone experiences the occasional headache, shoulder pain, or sore neck. Most of the time we can dismiss the cause as nothing more than stress or our busy lives, but, when pain becomes a daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, there could be something more going on.

Learn More

What is a sleep disorder?

If you find yourself constantly battling fatigue, feeling as if your sleep is disrupted on a nightly basis, or if your family complaints about your snoring, you could have an underlying sleep disorder. There are several, common sleep issues (e.g.: sleep apnea) that plague many individuals like you.

Learn More

Why Dr. Ira Shapira?

“I like to think of my patients as though they were members of my family. I want them to have the quality of care they can appreciate and that I would expect for myself or my family. That’s why I try to stay current with the latest findings in the field of Physiologic (TMJ) and Sleep Disorder dentistry.

Learn More

Like to know more? Download our FREE eBook

  • Preventive Care 3Sleep Disorder Treatment

    When you find it difficult to sleep or your sleep is disrupted night after night, we recommend you take steps to determine if you have a sleep disorder and seek an effective remedy.

    Free Sleep Disorder E-Book
  • Frequent headaches?

    It’s time to get rid of those headaches once and for all. Set up a consultation with us to discuss the connection between your chronic headaches and a potential TMJ disorder.

    Free TMJ Disorder E-Book
  • ZahnarztNeck & Back Pain

    Once relieved of your pain, you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to comfortably move in a pain free fashion again. Normal physiology and function promotes ongoing health and wellness.

    Free TMJ Disorder E-Book

Sick and tired of TMJ pain or sleep problems?

 

Meet Dr. Ira Shapira
at Think Better Life




What is TMJ?

Dr. Shapira Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, TMJ - General, TMJ Dentist, TMJ Doctor, TMJ Pain, TMJ Specialist, TMJ Symptoms, TMJ Treatment, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Winnetka 10 Comments

What is TMJ? Learn more about it!

what-is-tmj-chicago

Everyone experiences occasional headaches, shoulder pain, or sore neck. Most of the time we can dismiss the cause as nothing more than stress or our busy lives, but, when pain becomes a daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, there could be something more going on.

If you are suffering from undiagnosed, chronic pain, TMJ may be the reason. But what is TMJ, and why does it cause pain?

How does your TMJ work?

TMJ is an abbreviated term for the temporomandibular joint also known as your jaw joint. Other abbreviations; TMD for Temporomandibular Disorder and TMJD for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, are also accepted and used interchangeably  to refer to the pain, disorder or dysfunction of this joint and other affected areas surrounding it.

Like all of the wonderfully complex parts of our bodies, the temporomandibular joint is designed for smooth, continuous and pain-free operation. These two essential joints work in unison to allow you to:

  • bite
  • speak
  • chew
  • sing
  • yawn
  • laugh
  • talk

In fact, for your jaw to do everything you need it to, it must be able to open close, move forward and back and from side to side.

The bones of your joints do not work alone. To move, each of your ball and socket jaw joints are cushioned by a disc and surrounded by the muscles, ligaments and nerves that make them work.

What causes jaw problems?

While TMJ causes are not always clear, they are often be related to specific events or life changes, including:

  • uneven dentistry
  • direct injury to the temporomandibular joint
  • ongoing stress resulting in bruxism and clenching of the jaw
  • shifting or missing teeth
  • a misaligned jaw or underdeveloped jaw due to genetics or childhood breathing problems
  • arthritis
  • sleep disorders, especially sleep disordered breathing

Where does the pain come from?

Since the TM joint consists of so many interdependent parts, if even one piece is out of commission, stressed or damaged in some way, the rest of the connecting parts are affected. This includes the part of our nervous system that is responsible for providing input to the brain for as much as 40 percent of the human head and face.

The nerve, specifically called the trigeminal nerve is of great interest to the physiologic dentist evaluating and treating TMJ disorders. As the name implies, there are three branches to this nerve, and they are connected with many of the functions of the TM joint, including:

  • Routine chewing functions of the upper and lower jaw
  • Swallowing
  • Breathing
  • Talking
  • Kissing
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Sinuses
  • Teeth

Even though TMJ pain directly communicates through the trigeminal nerve structures, it may also result in referred pain to certain locations in the head and neck.  Almost 100% of all headaches  and migraines, as well as sinus pain are mediated primarily by the trigeminal nerve.  Symptoms of referred pain may include the following symptoms:

  • Frequent morning headaches or migraines
  • Grinding, clicking or popping noise in the TM joints
  • Dizziness
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Tinnitus

Learn more about TMJ

DentistTMJ is a complex disorder. Effective treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis.

If you would like to find out if TMJ is at the root of your chronic pain, take our TMJ questionnaire or, better yet, come in for a consultation.