Aches and Pains? Maybe It’s TMJ Disorder!

Orthodontists recommend prompt treatment to avoid more serious issues.

invisalign(Issued Spring 2020) — Do you or someone you know complain about mysterious jaw pain, headaches, facial pain, jaw ‘clicking,’ ear ringing, limited jaw mobility, or excessively worn teeth?

Incredibly, all of these are possible symptoms of TMJ disorder and Dr. Andrew Chase of ARCH Orthodontics says he’s no longer surprised when patients who originally come in for orthodontic treatment, after examination, discover the surprising causes of their discomfort and pain. It’s estimated that more than 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorder.

Left untreated, nerve pain and damage caused by misalignment of the jaw may become permanent. While most TMJ symptoms are mild to moderate, certain symptoms like reduced jaw mobility can create serious health problems such as the inability to chew food properly – and that can lead to nutritional deficiencies – which can lead to more serious problems.

Dr. Chase says, “We offer several leading-edge orthotic devices that can realign the teeth and jaw. Combining an experienced team and optimal state-of-the-art appliances enables us to address TMJ ASAP. Why suffer?” There are many types of splints and appliances that may be fabricated by ARCH to reduce stress on the jaw and to allow the muscles to function optimally so the lower jaw can be repositioned properly. The appliance that is best is chosen based upon clinical findings, symptoms, and diagnostic tests such as x-rays.

Treatment depends on such factors as the overall health of the patient, medical history, tolerance of medications and mouth appliances, and the extent f the disorder. Dr. Chase says treatments include jaw rest, stress management to reduce jaw clenching, pain medications, mouth exercises, heat and cold compresses, and orthopedic appliances such as mouth guards to reduce effects of tooth grinding.

Separately, this past year Dr. Chase took the lead in a campaign against the heavily marketed Do-It-Yourself or Direct-To-Consumer braces. “They may be cheaper in the beginning but there can be terrible results, including eventual tooth loss.” ARCH welcomes patients who may have started with DIY and now have second thoughts.

ARH, now in its 46th year, offers free initial consultation and interest-free financing at its nine offices between Boston and Orleans on Cape Cod. Courtesy discounts are offered to anyone serving in the military and their families and veterans. For more information contact smilemaker@archorthodontics.com or call us today at 781-209-6776.

– By Stanley Hurwitz

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