TMJ/TMD Treatment in Westchester County, NY
TMJ & TMD Treated by a Holistic Dental Expert
There are other dentists who can help you with jaw and facial pain, but there are few with the same depth of training and experience that Dr. Lerner has providing TMJ/TMD treatment in Westchester County, NY. In fact, Dr. Lerner personally knows what TMJ disorder feels like – he suffered from painful symptoms from the time he was a child until he found the effective solutions that he now shares with his patients.
Testing Methods & Alternative Therapies
Dr. Lerner’s system includes a number of alternative therapies and testing methods not often found in a dental office. In addition to his 40 years of experience in TMJ disorder treatment, Dr. Lerner and his team have completed extensive training at the Las Vegas Institute in Physiologic Dentistry and Cranial Facial Orthopedics and Orthodontics.
Additionally, Dr. Lerner has years of experience using acupuncture, applied kinesiology, and cranial-sacral therapy. Through this training, he has helped many TMJ disorder patients who have suffered disability and pain before finding their way to The Center for Holistic Dentistry.
Dr. Lerner shares his personal struggle with TMJ pain, complications, and his unique approach for treating it.
The letters “TMJ” are a commonly used abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint in front of the ear that connects the jawbone to the skull. However, the term “TMJ” is often used to describe a broader condition that involves strain and lack of balance within the muscles of the jaw, neck, and the bones of the skull and face. This is more accurately described as TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorder.
The effects of TMD are not limited to the head, neck, or jaw; they have the potential to affect the function of the whole body. This diffusion of symptoms is one of the reasons TMJ disorders are so often overlooked and misdiagnosed. We have seen many cases in which the correction of the underlying jaw problem has relieved chronic back pain, breathing issues, digestive problems, difficulty walking, foot problems, fatigue, and generalized stress.
We recently had a patient who came in with a toothache. Another dentist had told her that she needed root canal treatment but she wanted a second opinion. It turns out that the pain was caused by her bite putting too much pressure on her tooth! We made her a simple bite support to keep pressure off the sore tooth. The following week, she came back to see us, grateful for the relief of her toothache, and even better, she said that wearing the bite support had given her relief of severe and debilitating back pain! She had been at her wit’s end with the back pain and had been told by doctors that only surgery offered hope of relief.
Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction
There are many different symptoms of TMD. When the TM joint is not working properly, you may experience:
- Pain in your jaw muscles as you chew and even when at rest
- Ear symptoms (ear pain, stuffiness or itching, loss of hearing, dizziness, tinnitus)
- Chronic headache or migraine
- Popping or clicking and/or pain as you open and close your mouth
- Pain anywhere in the face, head, or neck
- Stiff neck
- Eye symptoms (pain in or behind the eyes, blurring of vision)
- Pain in a tooth or sensitivity of the teeth
- Low back pain
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
Correcting TMJ / TMD
If you suffer from TMJ disorder, your treatment will be tailored to your particular needs. We will clearly define the nature of the problem with a careful study of your symptoms. This involves a thorough consultation and a comprehensive examination.
During your examination, we will evaluate the sites of your pain, as well as the functional integration of related body systems using muscle reflex assessment of your acupuncture meridians. We will then:
- Perform a thorough analysis of the physiology of your bite, the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), and your jaw muscles
- Perform a computerized neuromuscular analysis of jaw function using the Biopak Jaw Diagnostic System
- Conduct a T-Scan analysis of the distribution of bite forces on your teeth
- Make plaster models of your teeth to help us understand how your bite may contribute to your condition
- Use a Cone Beam X-ray to create a 3D picture of your jaw structures including the TM Joint, your sinuses, and your airway.
Once we have completed an analysis, we will begin treatment with bite appliances (Orthotics) that will place you in an optimal physiological position to stabilize your bite, relax and balance your jaw muscles, and by extension, the muscles through your body. Two different appliances will be used: one for use during the day another at night.
TMJ/TMD treatment with gentle pain-relieving techniques drawn from Acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, and Cranial‑Sacral Therapy will be used as needed. When appropriate, we provide TMJ treatments with moist heat packs and cold laser therapy.
Once you achieve pain relief, we will offer you options to fix the underlying problems with your bite. This might involve adjusting the shape of your teeth so they fit better, building up teeth to provide better function, support, and aesthetics, or correcting issues of poor jaw development and misaligned teeth with Integrative Functional Orthodontics.
The goal is to bring the TM joint and the muscles of the jaw into a comfortable and healthy balance. Many of our patients present with improper posture and function of their tongue and lips and benefit from Myofunctional Therapy to correct this.
It is often important for patients to receive appropriate care from either a chiropractor, an osteopath, or a physical therapist during this time to ensure that the neck and spine are brought into proper alignment. Once you achieve comfort and balance, it may be appropriate to discuss the correction of your bite with either orthodontics and/or restorative dentistry.
“I thought everyone had headaches… it was uncomfortable for me to smile because of the tension I had in my jaw,” says Dr. Lerner. “After seeking help from dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and osteopaths, I finally came upon the solution to my problems. This has led me to develop my own system of treatment, individualized for each patient in a manner appropriate for them. The system simply does not treat everyone in the same way.”
– Dr. Lerner
Contact Us For TMJ/TMD Treatment in Westchester County, NY, Today!
To experience our exceptional dental care, schedule your New Patient Exam by calling 914-245-4041 or by clicking here. Your appointment includes a comprehensive review of your health history and concerns, an evaluation of your teeth, bite, gums, and airway passage, low-radiation digital x-rays, and a discussion of your options with a personalized treatment plan. We look forward to meeting you!
As the premier holistic dental practice in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and the Hudson Valley Region., our dentist and team at The Center For Holistic Dentistry also provide 5-star dental care to patients from White Plains, Cortlandt Manor, Katonah, Mount Kisco, Briarcliff Manor & Westchester County, N.Y., and the surrounding areas.