tmj disorders

Bay Area Center

TMJ Disorders, Sleep Medicine, Neck & Facial Pain

TMJ Disorders

A Warm Welcome to Our Clinic

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Are you currently experiencing jaw pain, jaw locking, clicking, catching, earaches, stuffiness, ringing in your ears, migraines, facial pain (see complete list of TMJ symptoms below)?

“At MyDental our main objective is to alleviate your facial pain, headaches and TMJ problems."

Dr. Marina Shurova

Dr. Shurova, DDS Owner of MyDental

TMJ

Temporomandibular Joint (aka TMJ) Disorder Symptoms

Hinge and sliding joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull involved in chewing, speaking and any other function requiring jaw movement.

There are two TMJ’s that you can feel if you place your fingers in front of your ears and open and close your mouth.

The TMJ has often been described as “The Great Imposter” because it can mimic so many problems in the head, neck and ears usually related to a temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

You might have a TMJ malfunctioning if you experience the following:

The nerve that mediates pain in the head and neck is called the Trigeminal Nerve and any overloading of the trigeminal system can lead to the problems listed above.

Tension in the head and neck muscles can lead to severe headaches, facial pain and migraines.

The TMJ, just as other joints, has a pad between the bones to protect the bones called a disk. When the disk is displaced it can cause clicking or popping also leading to limited mouth opening and/or locking of the jaw. These TMJ and other problems can almost always be “cured” with the use of intraoral appliances.

Explore by selecting tabs below!

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorders Treatment

Holistic approach: we believe in minimally invasive therapies that exclude surgery or long-term medications.

We treat TMJ Disorders through the use of appliances only. No surgery. We found that the worst symptoms are in patients who underwent surgical procedures. Additionally there is no need for drugs with so many bad side effects.

There are 2 phases of treatment.

Phase 1

The focus of this phase is stabilization of the patient by guiding their jaw in the correct “symptom free” position.

Two appliances are used: a daytime splint which is an orthopedic repositioning appliance (ORA) and a muscle relaxation/night appliance.

The ORA repositions the lower jaw in three dimensions: vertical, horizontal and forward.

day appliance

The Night Appliance:

Night appliance

What to expect?

APPOINTMENT #1

  • Initial office visit: complete head, neck and TMJ exam
  • Muscle evaluation and palpation
  • X-rays of head, neck and TMJ
  • Jaw tracking, electromyography and joint vibration analysis

APPOINTMENT #2

  • Impressions for diagnostic casts and bite registration
  • Night appliance
  • Day appliance (ORA)

FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENT (number of visits varies depending on individual patient)

  • Adjustments
  • TMJ injections/ arthroscopy
  • Jaw manipulation
  • TENS
  • Other

Will my medical insurance cover my TMJ treatment?

If you have a medical insurance and would like to know if there is any coverage prior to treatment, you can come in for an APPOINTMENT 1 so we can establish a proper diagnosis and provide you with medical codes and all paperwork necessary to submit for an insurance pre-authorization to help you plan your treatment. The patient is responsible for all communications with their insurance and getting reimbursement if any.

Phase 2

Phase 2 involves getting the teeth to match the correct “symptoms free” position of the jaw without the appliance so patients won’t have to wear appliances for the rest of their life.

Orthopedics/Orthodontics

“It makes no difference if you believe in Creationism (the literal interpretation of the Bible that God created man) or you believe in Evolution (natural selection/survival of the fittest) – either way we have 32 teeth, a tongue, two arches and an airway. Deciding to remove 4 bicuspids to “make room” for teeth that are too crowded causes the arches of the mouth to become smaller. You now have no room for your tongue causing it to now constrict your airway leading to apnea causing less oxygen to get to the brain and more stress on the heart”.  Dr. Garcia

BEFORE and AFTER orthodontic treatment Gallery

Deep bite correction

Full mouth reconstruction

Great option for patients who wish to not undergo orthodontic treatment with fixed brackets. Instead the bite can be restored with full mouth porcelain crowns. Recommended for patients with preexisting crowns, multiple cavities and aesthetic concerns.

Phase 1

The focus of this phase is stabilization of the patient by guiding their jaw in the correct “symptom free” position.

Two appliances are used: a daytime splint which is an orthopedic repositioning appliance (ORA) and a muscle relaxation/night appliance.

The ORA repositions the lower jaw in three dimensions: vertical, horizontal and forward.

day appliance

The Night Appliance:

Night appliance

What to expect?

APPOINTMENT #1

  • Initial office visit: complete head, neck and TMJ exam
  • Muscle evaluation and palpation
  • X-rays of head, neck and TMJ
  • Jaw tracking, electromyography and joint vibration analysis

APPOINTMENT #2

  • Impressions for diagnostic casts and bite registration
  • Night appliance
  • Day appliance (ORA)

FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENT (number of visits varies depending on individual patient)

  • Adjustments
  • TMJ injections/ arthroscopy
  • Jaw manipulation
  • TENS
  • Other

Will my medical insurance cover my TMJ treatment?

If you have a medical insurance and would like to know if there is any coverage prior to treatment, you can come in for an APPOINTMENT 1 so we can establish a proper diagnosis and provide you with medical codes and all paperwork necessary to submit for an insurance pre-authorization to help you plan your treatment. The patient is responsible for all insurance communication and reimbursement if any.

Phase 2

Phase 2 involves getting the teeth to match the correct “symptoms free” position of the jaw without the appliance so patients won’t have to wear appliances for the rest of their life.

Orthopedics/Orthodontics

“It makes no difference if you believe in Creationism (the literal interpretation of the Bible that God created man) or you believe in Evolution (natural selection/survival of the fittest) – either way we have 32 teeth, a tongue, two arches and an airway. Deciding to remove 4 bicuspids to “make room” for teeth that are too crowded causes the arches of the mouth to become smaller. You now have no room for your tongue causing it to now constrict your airway leading to apnea causing less oxygen to get to the brain and more stress on the heart”.  Dr. Garcia

BEFORE and AFTER orthodontic treatment Gallery

Deep bite correction

Full mouth reconstruction

Great option for patients who wish to not undergo orthodontic treatment with fixed brackets. Instead the bite can be restored with full mouth porcelain crowns. Recommended for patients with preexisting crowns, multiple cavities and aesthetic concerns.

mobile

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and begins repeatedly during sleep.  It is more common in middle-aged or older adults and in overweight people, but anyone can have sleep apnea. It results from a compromised airway (a narrowing of the airway).

Snoring is one of the most noticeable signs of sleep apnea and should not be considered benign.

Contributors to Sleep Disorders

Consequences of Sleep Disorders

When there is no O2 supply to the brain, lungs are required to inhale more O2 and heart must pump more blood resulting in a higher blood pressure and more stress on the heart.

No wonder so many heart attacks occur in the morning because they are related to sleep apnea.

A case in point is Judge Scalia. He was found unresponsive with his C-PAP on the night stand – the lack of oxygen plus the added stress on the heart had lead to his death.

Man-sleeping-cpap-machine

Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea

Dr. Garcia has designed an intra-oral device (night time appliance) that repositions the jaw during sleep.  The device opens the airways and facilitates normal breathing.  

Most dental appliances for Sleep Apnea on the market keep the jaw in a fixed position and do not allow you to move it without removing the device. 

Our appliance is different; it allows movement of the lower jaw and inhibits the ability to clench the jaw muscles.  Our patients with OSA are able to have a restful sleep, by improving their airways and reducing muscle tension. 

mobile

Man-sleeping-cpap-machine

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and begins repeatedly during sleep.  It is more common in middle-aged or older adults and in overweight people, but anyone can have sleep apnea. It results from a compromised airway (a narrowing of the airway).

Snoring is one of the most noticeable signs of sleep apnea and should not be considered benign.

Contributors to Sleep Disorders

Consequences of Sleep Disorders

When there is no O2 supply to the brain, lungs are required to inhale more O2 and heart must pump more blood resulting in a higher blood pressure and more stress on the heart.

No wonder so many heart attacks occur in the morning because they are related to sleep apnea.

A case in point is Judge Scalia. He was found unresponsive with his C-PAP on the night stand – the lack of oxygen plus the added stress on the heart had lead to his death.

Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea

Dr. Garcia has designed an intra-oral device (night time appliance) that repositions the jaw during sleep.  The device opens the airways and facilitates normal breathing.  

Most dental appliances for Sleep Apnea on the market keep the jaw in a fixed position and do not allow you to move it without removing the device. 

Our appliance is different; it allows movement of the lower jaw and inhibits the ability to clench the jaw muscles.  Our patients with OSA are able to have a restful sleep, by improving their airways and reducing muscle tension. 

Tourette Syndrome

Every patient treated for Tourette syndrome had a TMJ problem.

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder, which is associated with tics (involuntary motors), such as facial grimaces, shrugging, blinking, and sudden movements of the jaw, head, or neck.  Sometimes these tics can occur in combinations such as pushing the jaw, facial grimaces, in combination with head shaking and shrugging (as is the case in the video you can watch here).

Other tics may manifest as hoarseness, nose movement, such as when smelling, and/or hoarse sounds, which may exist on their own or in combination with motor tics.  More dramatic and severe vocal tics may include the emission of profanity (coprolalia) or the repetition of your own words or those of others (echolalia).  In some cases motor tics and/or vocal tics can be very disabling for the patient in social situations.

Out treatment of patients with Tourette Syndrome:

We hope that patients with Tourette Syndrome will realize the possible relationship between Tourette Syndrome and the problems of jaw alignment, and that jaw repositioning could be the solution for those suffering from these agonizing problems.

Story of our first patient with Tourette Syndrome

Years ago my assistant’s son, Jonathan, 4 years old at the time, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.

It was observed that tics became more frequent and more severe, when the child was eating. 

Upon examination it was discovered that Jonathan’s teeth were not aligned properly: lower jaw was shifted to the left side.

The greater alignment of the jaws and teeth, and the problems they presented when the jaw was in the resting position and with chewing led to hypothesis that a possible relationship could exist between jaw/tooth problems and Tourette Syndrome.

With this theory in mind we designed and constructed an appliance to correct the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Almost immediately, after the placement of the device, his symptoms decreased.  The link in the video illustrates the dramatic effects of the device when Jonathan is eating.

It is unknown if every patient with Tourette Syndrome has a jaw alignment problem. However, in our practice one constant that has been highlighted is that all the Tourette Syndrome patients had jaw alignment problems.

mobile

Tourette Syndrome

Every patient treated for Tourette syndrome had a TMJ problem.

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder, which is associated with tics (involuntary motors), such as facial grimaces, shrugging, blinking, and sudden movements of the jaw, head, or neck.  Sometimes these tics can occur in combinations such as pushing the jaw, facial grimaces, in combination with head shaking and shrugging (as is the case in the video you can watch here).

Other tics may manifest as hoarseness, nose movement, such as when smelling, and/or hoarse sounds, which may exist on their own or in combination with motor tics.  More dramatic and severe vocal tics may include the emission of profanity (coprolalia) or the repetition of your own words or those of others (echolalia).  In some cases motor tics and/or vocal tics can be very disabling for the patient in social situations.

Out treatment of patients with Tourette Syndrome:

We hope that patients with Tourette Syndrome will realize the possible relationship between Tourette Syndrome and the problems of jaw alignment, and that jaw repositioning could be the solution for those suffering from these agonizing problems.

Story of our first patient with Tourette Syndrome

Years ago my assistant’s son, Jonathan, 4 years old at the time, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.

It was observed that tics became more frequent and more severe, when the child was eating. 

Upon examination it was discovered that Jonathan’s teeth were not aligned properly: lower jaw was shifted to the left side.

The greater alignment of the jaws and teeth, and the problems they presented when the jaw was in the resting position and with chewing led to a hypothesis that a possible relationship could exist between jaw/tooth problems and Tourette Syndrome.

With this theory in mind we designed and constructed an appliance to correct the alignment of the teeth and jaws. Almost immediately, after the placement of the device, his symptoms decreased.  The link in the video illustrates the dramatic effects of the device when Jonathan is eating.

It is unknown if every patient with Tourette Syndrome has a jaw alignment problem. However, in our practice one constant that has been highlighted is that all the Tourette Syndrome patients had jaw alignment problems.

Dr. Ralph Garcia Jr.

Meet Dr. Ralph Garcia Jr.

Dr. Garcia is the founder and director of the Bay Area Center for Craniomandibular Disorders in Tampa, Florida...

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