At Headache Relief Alternatives, we believe that there is no greater joy than helping someone return to a healthy, productive and pain free life. It is estimated that over 20% of Americans suffer from some form of chronic facial and neck pain, as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is often used to describe any problem or pain associated with the TMJ (temporomandibular) joint. This is the joint in front of the ears that allows the lower jaw to open, close, and move side-to- side in chewing and speaking. The issues with this joint can be caused by macro trauma, such as a fall/sports injury, micro trauma, chronic poor posture, or a misaligned bite.
With this type of condition, the jaw muscles become hyperactive and painful even though the joint itself may remain intact. Research indicates that approximately 85% of patients with TMD symptoms are muscular in nature, whereas the remaining 15% suffer from some form of joint malfunction. A hyperactive muscle can develop trigger points that radiate pain a distance away from the jaw muscle, to the neck, teeth, shoulders, arms, or hands or other areas..
Our Diagnostic and Treatment Approach
We take a holistic approach to solving our patient's TMJ pain issues including; the use of T-Scan tecnology that measures thet pressure and timing of the teeth coming together. T-Scan technology is also used with Bioresearch EMG to obtain a real-time, reproducible view of the bite’s effect on muscle activity. Joint Vibration Analysis and digital X-rays are also used to evaluate TMJ dysfunction.
Treatment options range from Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR), splint therapy, physical therapy (laser, ultrasound, micro current, and massage), and alternative therapies such as homeopathy and herbs. Pain-reducing agents such as muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories may be offered in conjunction with treatment as needed.
Choosing The Right Practitioner
Our office offers a multifactorial approach to chronic head and neck pain. Our staff has years of training covering the gamut from traditional pharmaceuticals to acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbs.
Dr. Sprinkle has been working with TMD and chronic pain patients since 1988. He regularly attends pain seminars and lectures on chronic head, neck, and facial pain. He is also a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management and a Fellow of the Center for Neural Occlusion.
Few dentists have his wide and diverse training with renowned specialists including:
- Muscular pain and trigger point therapy-- Janet Travell, MD
- Neural therapy and neural prolotherapy--Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, John Lyftogt, MD
- Splint therapy and dystonias--Brenda Stack, DDS,MS
- Acupuncture and herbal medicine for the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia and shingles--Yoshiaki Omura, MD
- Disclusion Time Reduction- the role of friction on the back teeth to cause chronic muscle hyperactivity and pain--Robert Kerstein,DMD
If you have TMD, or suffer from other chronic head, face, neck, or jaw pain, we can help you regain your health and a life that is pain free.