You might’ve never heard the term “temporomandibular joint,” but you rely on two of them every day for essential functions including eating and speaking, as well as laughing and smiling. You have one temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, near each ear that, along with ligaments and muscles, enables you to accomplish all of those activities. TMJ problems, also sometimes referred to as temporomandibular disorder (TMD), have a range of symptoms from jaw popping to jaw pain to pain in the face and/or upper body.
If not remedied with TMJ therapy from the skilled, experienced hands of Dr. Richard Porcelli and our team, these problems can make normal living difficult, and lead to teeth issues that will eventually require more extensive dental work. Dr. Porcelli underwent intensive training in treating TMD at The Dawson Academy, an acclaimed post-doctoral educational institution. He’ll diagnose and treat all your TMJ troubles right here in the comfortable, spa-like environment of our Bluffton, SC office.
Dr. Porcelli addresses TMJ issues by first determining the underlying cause of your symptoms. This holistic approach includes looking at what contributing factors are present. Have you recently suffered trauma to your jaw? Are you under substantial stress? Do you grind your teeth? Is your posture correct? Are your jaws misaligned? Dr. Porcelli will investigate all possible angles before determining a plan for your TMJ therapy, which may include multiple methods and procedures.
If you grind your teeth—a condition known as bruxism—Dr. Porcelli may recommend a mouth guard. This custom-fitted guard is designed to prevent you from damaging your teeth and can alleviate your TMJ symptoms. You wear your mouth guard only during times when you typically grind your teeth. Invisalign® performs a similar function but has the added benefit of straightening out crooked teeth. As its name suggests, Invisalign is transparent, allowing you to wear it discreetly. Unlike a mouthguard, Invisalign also enables you to eat and speak naturally!
Should you require surgery during your TMJ therapy, Dr. Porcelli will use biologically based, advanced methods that help you recover with the power of your own body. This includes plasma-rich growth factors (PRF), proteins that occur naturally in your own blood, and can be used at surgical sites to stimulate healing. He may also use ozone therapy, a leading treatment in biological dentistry. This proven method uses oxygen as the basis of its healing properties and kills harmful microorganisms without damaging the surrounding tissues. What could be a more natural remedy than oxygen?
Contact us for a consultation in our Bluffton, SC office to see if TMJ therapy is what you need.