Benefits of TMD Treatment

Dr. Hoa Nguyen - Benefits of TMD treatment

The benefits of TMD treatment can effectively be broken down into two categories: functional and aesthetic. The functional benefits stem from the creation and maintenance of an optimal occlusal relationship between the upper and lower jaws and teeth.

The re-establishment of optimal occlusion (bite) effectively eliminates the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) symptoms. These can include, but are not limited to, recurrent migraines, ringing in the ears, sensitivity and tightness in the throat, pressure behind the eyes, popping or clicking of the jaw when chewing or yawning, pain or stiffness in the neck and shoulders, etc. The chronic pain and discomfort that has become a “lifestyle” of many people suffering from TMD can be eliminated, even if other treatment approaches have been unsuccessful in the past.

Above and beyond the elimination of the TMD symptoms, the functional benefits also extend to the actual pressure and wear that is exerted on the existing teeth and/or restorations. Having the teeth and jaw optimally aligned reduces the wear and tear that the teeth and restorations are subjected to, effectively increasing their lifespan.

With respect to aesthetic benefits, these are traditionally associated with a reconstructive course of treatment. With other types of TMD treatments, there may be a slight aesthetic improvement that arises from the changed orientation of the teeth and jaw, but those courses of treatment are primarily designed to address the TMD symptoms, not the aesthetics.

With the reconstructive treatment approach, the end results are typically spectacular. It is commonly referred to as a “smile makeover”, a term that was popularized by the ABC show, Extreme Makeover. The smile can be transformed to look stunning and natural, but the effects of a Gneuromuscular approach to a “smile makeover” are not limited to the teeth alone. Often, the change in the position of the teeth and jaw will have a rejuvenating effect on the eyes and rest of the face. This change is particularly apparent when a smiling. When someone suffering from TMD smiles, their eyes typically squint and it seems as though the smile is forced or painful. When the TMD is addressed, the squinting disappears and the smiles take on a more natural and lively feel.

Certainly the focus with our patients is placed first and foremost on allowing them to resume a pain free life. The elimination of the chronic symptoms is always the top priority but sometimes our patients take advantage of the opportunity to create the smile that they have always dreamed of.