Gouverneur, NY dentist Dr. Nicholas Gardner has extensive education, training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of complex dental problems, including temporomandibular disorders such as TMJ. More than just a dental problem, TMJ and related bite disorders can have a detrimental effect on your daily quality of life. Patients often experience painful and sometimes disruptive symptoms that make chewing, speaking and living a healthy life difficult.
Dr. Gardner is a Dawson trained dentist, practicing the concepts of “complete dentistry” throughout all dental treatments and procedures- even routine dental care. For patients, this means they can expect a thorough and comprehensive dental exam focused not only on the health of their teeth, but also their gums and jaw joints. For optimal, lasting dental health it is important for all parts of the occlusal system to work together harmoniously. Dysfunction in one can affect the health of the others, leading to more complex concerns and affecting daily living.
Dr. Gardner looks for signs of wear and imbalance that can indicate a bite problem and ultimately compromise your dental health. A comfortable, balanced bite is the key to a lasting smile.
Signs & Symptoms of TMJ
Common symptoms of a bite disorder such as TMJ often include:
- Frequent headaches, especially in the morning
- Ear pain or feeling of “fullness” in the ear
- Jaw and/or neck pain or tightness, especially upon waking
- Clicking or popping jaw, often when eating or speaking
- Worn, loose or damaged teeth
In many cases, an imbalance in the bite leads to teeth grinding and/or clenching- a common and frequently undiagnosed cause of headaches, jaw and related neck pain. Most patients grind their teeth at night or unknowingly during stressful situations.
Dr. Gardner will recommend treatment for TMJ or a bite disorder that is tailored to your unique dental concerns and goals. He offers a range of options for realigning the bite, repairing any tooth damage and relieving painful symptoms you may be experiencing.
TMJ Treatment Options
Restoring your dental health can be accomplished through a variety of treatment options, and often a combination of treatments for lasting results.
- Mouth guards or splints: Dr. Gardner may recommend the use of a mouth guard or dental splint to alleviate specific symptoms of TMJ disorder. A mouth guard or splint is often a first step, used early in treatment and not needed as a long term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position.
- Bite Correction Therapy: Dr. Gardner will perform occlusal equilibration – or bite correction, to bring the teeth into proper contact. This allows the jaw to open and close in its proper position and eliminate stress on the joints and resulting pain. This process is a series of adjustments made to the teeth which may include:
- Removing tooth structure
- Dental crowns or porcelain veneers
- Orthodontic treatment
- Dental implants
- Orthodontics: If the teeth are not in proper position, orthodontics may be needed to reposition the teeth, allowing them to fit together harmoniously. Dr. Gardner offers several types of orthodontic treatment options depending on your needs and goals.
- Restorative Dentistry: If your teeth have been significantly worn and damaged, restorative dentistry may be needed to bring the teeth back to their proper health and beauty. Dr. Gardner may use dental crowns, porcelain veneers, or cosmetic bonding to restore teeth.
Schedule An Appointment
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ or are concerned that you may have a bite disorder, schedule a visit with Dr. Gardner in Gouverneur. He will work with you to restore a healthy, comfortable smile that will provide the best quality of life possible.