Friday, May 2, 2008

We offer Hope for TMJ pain, as well as Braces

Having TMJ whether it is an acute case or chronic inflammation is a painful experience, but there are some things you can do for yourself at home. When you are experiencing jaw joint or facial pain eat a softer diet. Extra chewing only makes the pain worse. Also try using hot compresses or ice paks on the sides of your face and head to relax the muscles associated with your jaw joint. In our office TMJ Therapy includes helpful home tips like these, as well as the use of custom fabricated night guards and electric stimulation treatment with the electro-accuscope and myopulse system (by Advanced Biomedical Technologies). This microcurrent modality is FDA approved for pain management, and has also been shown to decrease inflammation and muscle spasm, and increase rates of healing. At Okun Orthodontics we treat both TMJ/facial pain as well as crooked teeth and facial imbalances. Braces may include:
  • Interceptive treatment: Early treatment to normalize the face and dental arches so that future growth and development can continue in a healthy and normal manner. This may be done with a combination of fixed or removable appliances.
  • Fixed Appliances (braces): Includes orthodontic (tooth) and orthopedic (bone) movement in growing children, and just orthodontic (dental movement) in adults. The purpose of treatment is to align the teeth and jaws to improve dental health, occlusion (the way the teeth bite) and appearance. Variations may include:
    • Non-extraction, extraction, and minimal extraction treatment options.
    • Clear or metal brackets which are both available.
    • Non surgical correction of skeletal discrepancies is often possible.
    • Correction of "overbites" and "underbites" is a routine part of treatment.
    • Palatal expansion: Changing the width of the upper arch to increase arch circumference (alleviate crowding) or to bring the top teeth outside the bottom teeth (crossbite correction).
    • Orthopedic movement is used to direct growth in a favorable direction.
    • Correction of crossbites, teeth that stick in or out too far compared to the opposing dental arch. Sometimes these teeth are in traumatic occlusion.
    • Correction of traumatic occlusions - bites where some teeth are banged too hard when the patient chews.
    • Correction of crowded or rotated teeth, using available space or making space (by increasing arch circumference or by removing teeth).
    • Space closure - closing spaces in either or both arches that exist either because of development, habits, or missing teeth.
    • Headgear - to redirect growth of the upper jaw, or to move the molars backwards.
    • Lip bumpers - to maintain or increase arch length, to make enough space for incoming teeth.
    • Lingual arch - to maintain or increase arch length, or to change arch form.
    • Habit appliances - to help the patient stop harmful habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. These habits can alter the position of the teeth and change the dental arch form.

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