TMJ can be hard to treat, and many TMJ sufferers spend years trying to eliminate symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, tinnitus, and more. The truth is that for many people, TMJ simply can’t be treated by one health professional, partly because it may be interlinked with other health conditions, including migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and more.
In order to be successful, we need to focus on you, understanding your individual symptoms, causes, and responses to treatment. Only then can we truly achieve a successful resolution of your symptoms.
Many Specialists, One Focus
In treating your TMJ, it might be necessary for you to assemble a team of healthcare providers. Research shows that multidisciplinary care has the highest success rates of all TMJ approaches. And in order to be successful, the team has to work together. How do we ensure all these different professionals work together properly?
The team works together because we’re all focused on the same goal: ensuring you get relief from your symptoms. And we all work well with you. We understand our own part of the puzzle and contribute our insight, but, in the end, you are in charge of the team, and we all defer to you.
That includes deferring to you on who should be a part of your team. We are honored to help treat you, and we won’t object if you want to have an orthodontist, physical therapist, and even alternative healthcare providers on your team.
Providing you with quality care is our only goal.
You Make Care Decisions
We’re partners in trying to achieve relief from TMJ. That means we both discuss treatment options. We will utilize our insight as a neuromuscular dentistry practice to give you a perspective you can’t get from the other members of your care team, and once you decide on a treatment we will perform that treatment with the full expertise that we are capable of providing.
But the decision about what care is best for you is yours alone. We provide insight and expertise. We help you understand the costs and benefits of all potential courses of action, including the course of action where we do nothing. But we won’t pressure you into getting a particular treatment or course of treatments.
Once you have the information, the decision is yours, and we encourage you to talk over your options with other members of your care team to understand what options they offer, and what the benefits would be of pursuing those treatment options. Sometimes, you may want to bring several of us together so we can blend our treatment recommendations.
Body, Mind, and Spirit
One of the most important revelations about TMJ in recent years is that it is not purely a physical disorder. In fact, unless we manage the psychological dimensions of TMJ, our work rebuilding and re-establighing your bite can be undone.
For example, if you have parafunctional habits, like teeth grinding, chewing nonfood objects, or nervously popping your neck or jaw, these can quickly put your bite out of balance again.
The addition of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one approach to help you overcome these damaging habits so that once we get your bite fixed, it is more likely to stay fixed.
Stress management can also be a vital component in treating your TMJ. Stress-related clenching can be damaging to your joints and teeth. Whatever techniques you find helpful to control your stress–be it prayer, meditation, or exercise–can be a vital part of your TMJ treatment.
If you don’t know how to get started addressing these other dimensions of your TMJ, we can refer you to people who can help.
Take the First Step to Relief
Don’t waste another day just suffering with your TMJ, and don’t persist in treatment that in ineffective or only partly effective because it isn’t addressing the full dimension of your care needs. To learn more about comprehensive TMJ treatment, please call 910-392-6060 today for an appointment with Wilmington, NC neuromuscular dentist Michael Kuzma at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.