Dr. Mary Lewis speaks on Temporomandibular joint syndrome therapy in Virginia. Dr. Lewis’s Virginia Beach Dental Services include Temporomandibular joint syndrome or dysfunction treatment. The most common symptoms of TMJ or TMD are pain and tenderness that can be felt in the jaw area, ears or even neck and shoulders. Patients suffering from TMD often experience clicking and grating sounds in their jaw joint while opening their mouth. According to Dr. Lewis, Dawson theory is the best way of treating TMD. An occlusal guard or brace can also be used to address the pain emanating due to TMD. Other treatments include occlusal equilibration in which Dr. Lewis adjusts the surfaces of the teeth to balance the patient’s bite.

Dr. Mary Lewis, D.D.S

TMJ basically is Temporomandibular joint and when you hear the word TMJ they are talking about Temporomandibular joint syndrome or TMD, Temporomandibular dysfunction. And usually that presents as either clicking or popping or kind of a crunching. It’s associated with headaches, neck aches, just discomfort with chewing. There are several philosophies on how to treat Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome but in our practice what I feel has been most effective, I comply with Dawson Theory which basically you balance the occlusion as you would balance your tyres so that they don’t wear improperly. And in doing so your relieve the strain on the muscle and the joint because you are no longer having the muscle pull the ligament and the disc out of place which causes the clicking and popping. Sometimes braces are required but many times if it’s just a muscular situation, an occlusal guard which is basically an artificially balanced bite is worn by the patient when they sleep because most of the crunching and grinding goes on in their sleep. Sometimes it can be worn just for a short period of time if say maybe somebody just got a muscle spasm and it would correct their problem in a short period of time. Some people do need to have continual wear every night for their whole life if they have a real problem and maybe they can’t get the restorative work done that will balance their bite. You know whether it be crown and bridge or what we call an occlusal equilibration where we actually adjust the surfaces of the teeth to get the balance that we need. So they wear the guard as an adjunct but it won’t completely solve the problem until they get their occlusion balanced.