Bay Area TMJ Treatment
San Francisco, Berkeley, Piedmont, & Oakland, California
Every year, millions of people suffer from headaches, pain, and other symptoms of TMJ. What can be done?
Janet Travell, M.D. was the White House Physician under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson who wrote the landmark textbook Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. Dr. Travell estimated that 90% of pain in the head, neck, and face was due to painful muscles.
What causes TMJ?
Dentists know that if the bite is not balanced, pain and other symptoms can develop. This is commonly known as TMJ.
Our jaw is supported by a sling of muscles that guide our teeth together in our habitual bite. Even when our jaw is resting, our muscles position our jaw near our bite. If our bite is in harmony with our muscles, everything feels good. But if our muscles have to strain on a regular basis in the “rest” position or in the bite position, symptoms can develop. These symptoms take the form of headaches, facial pain, neck and shoulder pain, feelings of ear congestion, dizziness, and other symptoms not commonly considered “dental.”
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Do I have TMJ?
How do we know if our symptoms are bite related and what can be done? First of all, it is always a good idea to check with your physician to make sure that your symptoms are not medical in origin. Next, talk to Dr. Bernstein to find out if your symptoms could be related to your bite. If your bite is the problem, there is incredible technology available, which allows Dr. Bernstein to find the most comfortable position for your bite. Once this position is found, Dr. Bernstein can adjust your bite or make you an orthotic (bite positioner) for you to wear which allows your jaw to rest in this most comfortable position. Oftentimes, this is enough to relieve the symptoms.
If it is decided that the comfortable position of your orthotic is the correct position for you in the long run, Dr. Bernstein can recommend orthodontics or porcelain bonding to improve your bite permanently so you don’t have to continue wearing an orthotic/bite positioner.