TMJ Therapy – Rowley, MA
Relieving the Pain in Your Jaw
Dr. St. Clair received his training in this area at The Center for Advanced Dental Study in St. Petersburg, Florida, and The Seattle Institute for Advanced Dental Education. In rare situations, when problems appear outside the realm of our practice, you will be referred to a specialist.
Why Choose J. Peter St. Clair, DMD for TMJ Therapy?
- Dentist with Expertise in Using Occlusal Splints
- Creative Treatment Planning
- Empathetic Care
Diagnosis & Treatment
Did you know…
- Many types of headaches can be caused by a bite that is out of balance?
- Damaging bite forces account for 50% of the reasons that mouths break down?
- Teeth that are chipped and worn are not normal situations?
- Jaw and/or face pain, discomfort or fatigue in the morning may indicate a night-time clenching or grinding problem?
- Noise in your jaw joint (clicking or popping) may indicate structural problems in your jaw joint?
These are just a few of the signs and symptoms that point toward a possible bite or joint problem. As part of our comprehensive service, these and other related issues are evaluated at your initial examination and monitored at your dental maintenance appointments.
In most cases of bite-related jaw joint or muscle issues, management can be relatively simple. Balancing the bite forces through selectively re-shaping teeth can be one way to manage the problem. This is called Occlusal Equilibration.
Another method used for alleviating symptoms is the fabrication of an orthotic bite splint or occlusal guard. There are many different types of these appliances based on the nature of the problem. They are all custom-fitted. This is different than the generic “night guard."
By far, the most common appliance we make is called the NTi. You would not believe how small this appliance is!
Read a newspaper column written by Dr. St. Clair highlighting one of his patients who had amazing results with an NTi.
TMJ Therapy FAQs
Why is my occlusion so important, and just what is occlusion, anyway?
Ever had a raspberry seed stuck in your teeth? It might as well have been a boulder, right? Occlusion has to do with the way the teeth fit. If the teeth fit, but the muscles that support the jaw are not happy in that position, the result can be headaches, neck aches, TMJ (jaw joint) problems, broken or severely worn teeth, receding gums, or loosening of the teeth. The reason occlusion is so important is if the teeth, bones, joints, and muscles are in harmony, the “permanence” or longevity of required dental restorations is highly predictable.
I read somewhere that headaches can be related to my bite. Is that true?
The matrix of muscles that surround the jaw joints and lower jaw also attach to the skull, neck or cervical spine, and the shoulder girdle or what physical therapists call the upper quadrant. There are also peripheral muscles relating to swallowing and head posture that, when stressed by poor bite or occlusion, can be in low grade spasm that ultimately results in headaches.
I experience noises in my jaw joints. Should I be concerned?
Definitely! Pops, clicks, and grinding or sandy-sounding noises mean there is something going on in the joint that is not normal. It usually indicates disharmony between the muscles of mastication and the way the teeth fit, resulting in stretching or tearing of the supporting cartilage and ligaments in the TMJ itself. If these signs and symptoms are accompanied by pain, better have it checked out today!