Tag Archives: TMJ therapy

Is there a correlatoin between TMJ and numb fingers?

Lately, I have had this numbing, tingling feeling in my fingers and I was wondering if it could be related to my TMJ disorder? I am very familiar with all the other symptoms of bruxism and grinding and how they affect my TMJ, like pain in my jaw and face, ringing in my ears, and stiffness in the jaw joint. But this numbing pins and needles feeling is new. It only happens with my left hand and I was wondering if there is a correlation here?

– Loretta in Missouri

Loretta,

TMJ symptoms are wide-ranging and TMJ disorder manifests differently for everyone. But to answer your question, yes, the numb feeling you have described can be connected with TMJ disorder. Typically it is not as common of a TMJ symptom, having been reported in about 50 percent of TMJ patients.

Here is what is happening in regard to the numbness. When your bite is misaligned, muscle spasms may occur. And since all of your muscles are inter-connected, when your jaw is misaligned it is quite possible to see problems down in your extremities. This is because the muscle spasms that you experience causing the tightness in your jaw, face, and neck area can influence the connecting nerves that travel into your arms. When these nerves are bothered, periodic numbness or tingling can be a result. That said, the numbness may not always occur as a result of TMJ pain. It can happen spontaneously.

It is important that you report any new or different TMJ problems to your TMJ specialist or the dentist that is treating you. Open communication will enable the best TMJ treatment to meet your specific needs.

Thank you for your question!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can’t take this pain. Is it TMJ?

I simply cannot take this pain any longer. It’s my face, ears, and jaw that are absolutely killing me. I haven’t officially been diagnosed with TMJ but from all the research I’ve done, that has to be what is going on. Can you tell me a little more about TMJ?

– Betsy in Missouri

Betsy,

Facial pain, pain in the jaw joint or area, ringing in the ears or earaches are all symptoms of TMJ disorder. The temporalmandibuar joint (TMJ) is the small joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull and helps you to talk and chew normally. This joint is used when you eat and yawn, really any movement of your jaw. TMJ disorder can affect the muscles and tendons that surround your jaw as well. Pain or sensitivity and soreness, as well as locking are all signs of TMJ.

It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of TMJ, but stress can be a major contributing factor. Other factors that can cause TMJ are an injury or trauma to the face, grinding of the teeth or clenching, and some arthritis patients have found it is a cause of TMJ. As mentioned previously, stress can make you clench or grind your teeth and tighten your facial muscles which can lead to TMJ problems.

A proper diagnosis is key when trying to find TMJ treatment. TMJ dentists and specialists use varying techniques that range from medications or a simple mouth piece, to more advanced neuromuscular therapy, and in some extreme cases surgery.

You don’t want to be in pain anymore, so don’t put it off any longer. Find a TMJ specialist in your area.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

My porcelain veneer is broken from grinding.

I have dealt with grinding my teeth for a long time. I’ve seen a TMJ dentist that had me get a night guard. This TMJ treatment has helped a lot.

Well, several months ago, I decided I wanted to improve the look of my smile. So I went ahead and got porcelain veneers done. One night I didn’t wear my night guard and I woke up to a broken veneer. I guess it cracked while I was asleep. Do you think the dentist will replace it for me without charging me?

– Lidia in Florida

Lidia,

As far as getting the porcelain veneer replaced, it is truly up to the dentist. Since the grinding is something that you have dealt with for years, there is no obligation that the dentist must replace the veneer, from a legal perspective. But there are many cosmetic dentists or TMJ specialists that also do cosmetic dentistry that may sympathize with you. Hopefully your dentist is one of these, since it has only been a few months.

There is always a possibility that you will only pay the lab fee, as long as you agree to continue wearing your night guard. That said, it all depends on the directions your dentist gave you when the veneers were placed. If you were already warned about the cautions of forgetting to wear the night guard for your TMJ treatment, they may not feel too bad about the situation. Then again, if there was no warning about the mouth guard given, than you may be able to make a stronger case for yourself.

It also isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that the porcelain veneer that broke can be repaired. A good cosmetic dentist may be able to use dental bonding to reapply the veneer. This all depends on how and where the veneer broke and if it was a clean break. It is also extremely important to see a cosmetic dentist that has an expert skill level.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist.

I’m getting an anterior repositioning splint.

My dentist has recommended an anterior repositioning splint for my jaw. I’m not quite sure exactly what it is. Can you tell me if it is comfortable, what it’s made out of, and what  it is used to treat?

– Richard in Louisiana

Richard,

The anterior repositioning splint is used to correct TMJ disorder or related TMJ problems. It repositions the condyles which are part of the temporomandibular joint. The condyles sit at the hinge of the jaw. The appliance is made of acrylic. Your dentist is recommending this treatment to return the jaw into a more natural position to reduce any locking or clicking that you may experience. Over time this treatment will improve the relationship between the condyle and the disc in your TMJ. This appliance removes any interference and should improve your TMJ symptoms.

The anterior repositioning splint is usually worn for at least three months. The appliance itself is only a few millimeters thick. When your joint has repositioned properly, you will no longer need to wear it. Patients that see the best results are those that suffer from jaw clicking or reoccurring jaw locking, as well as inflammation in the TMJ. Another issue that the splint helps relieve is grinding or clenching. This TMJ treatment will help enable the muscles and ligaments in the TMJ to relax. It is important to mention that it can change your bite over time, so it should only be worn as instructed by your dentist. Don’t wear it any longer than is recommended.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

My crown feels tender

It has been over a month since I had a crown placed on the upper right side of my mouth. My tooth never used to bother me but now every time I bite down on that side, it hurts. When I talked to the dentist about it, he said to just give it some time. But now my jawbone and ear feel like they are starting to hurt. Do you think this is related? Any suggestions?

– Renee in Arizona

Renee,

It could very well be that your bite has not been adjusted like it should after your crown. When you bite or chew, your teeth come together in a certain way. So if your bite is off or is misaligned, it will continually bother you until it is fixed. The jaw pain could be related to the tempro-mandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint where the upper and lower jaw meet. The TMJ operates similarly to a ball and socket and allows your jaw to open and close properly. If your teeth are not coming together properly, the muscles around the TMJ can be aggravated. If left as is, you may be at risk for developing TMJ disorder which can cause extreme pain and headaches is left untreated. Sometimes people don’t even realize the fact that they are grinding their teeth while sleeping which may be contributing to your situation. Other TMJ symptoms are clicking, ringing heard in the ears, and issues with opening and closing the joint.

Feel free to take ibuprofen as needed, up to three times a day to help with the jaw pain. Hot and cold packs alternated may also help with any jaw irritation. This should help with the increased inflammation until you can get into your dentist to get your bite adjusted.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Related link: TMJ treatment

Will TMJ be covered with my insurance?

I have been a TMJ sufferer for many years. I feel like I just have to get something done because I just can’t stand the pain anymore. Do you know if my insurance will cover TMJ treatment?

– Leslie in New Jersey

It is very unlikely that your medical insurance will cover TMJ treatment. Even though you would think otherwise. Since TMJ causes such painful headaches and other physical ailments many people think their medical coverage will take care of it. But it is pretty common that somewhere in your medical insurance plan there is some clause to exempt them from covering any kind of dental work, including any physical issues that result from dental work or the need for dental treatment.

If you are referring to your dental insurance, there is a possibility that some of the TMJ treatment may be covered. Dental plans vary greatly, so it would be difficult to give you any kind of specific information. Give your dental insurance company a call ahead of time so you are prepared. Realistically, the coverage will probably be quite limited as to what they will cover or assist with.

All that said, it is very wise to seek treatment from an experienced TMJ dentist like Dr. Steve Bader. He has had many successes in treating painful TMJ disorder and is especially experienced TMJ treatments like Neuromuscular Therapy.

Hopefully this helps answer your question so there are no surprises when you seek treatment.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.