12208 W 87th St PKWY Suite 160, Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 888-0403

TMJ Therapy for Lenexa

blonde woman holding jawIf you suffer from migraines, headaches, earaches, or pain in your jaw, face, head, neck, or lower back, the source of your problems may be misaligned jaw joints or unbalanced dental occlusion (bite). Dr. James Craig has studied TMJ disorder and occlusion at Pankey Institute, a renowned postgraduate institution for dental studies and internationally recognized clinicians Drs Peter Dawson, Frank Spear, Parker Mahan and Henry Gremillion. He can assess your jaw joints to determine the source of your pain. Then, he will help determine a proper course of care.

TMJ Disorder

The joints that hold the jaw to the skull are called temporomandibular joints, or TMJs.  Misalignment of these sensitive joints can irritate associated muscles and nerves. The pain ranges from mild to debilitating. Muscles try to compensate for misalignment, and they can become fatigued.   Grinding and clenching the teeth compound the problem and may ultimately cause tooth wear, cracks, and breakage of the teeth.  Known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this condition can often be relieved through conservative  therapies that will range from life style changes to retainer like appliances.

Patients wear their TMJ therapy appliances (bite splints) at night, though some wear them during the day. Depending on how your body responds to therapy, over time your jaw muscles may naturally reprogram to hold your jaw in the correct position without the splint. Other TMJ therapies include habit changes, physical therapy, and stress relief exercises. If TMJ disorder is the source of your pain, you don’t have to suffer any longer. Call today to reserve your TMJ consultation with Dr. Craig.

Dental Occlusion

You may ask yourself, what in the world is this and what does it have to do with dentistry? In reality, dental occlusion problems ( bite problems) are among the least treated and yet one of the most consequential conditions in adolescent and adult populations. Our bites, or how our teeth fit together, can change over time. Causes can be the loss of a tooth, heavy wear, fracture, orthodontic relapse, and of course dental restorations, damage to the jaw joints, and genetics to name a few. Why is this a problem? Well, these changes challenge us to adapt with subtle changes in the posture of our lower jaw  which fortunately we do to a large extent. However, our ability to adapt is sometimes exceeded by the change and then problems arise. Symptoms pointing to complications may be headache, neck pain, sensitive teeth, broken, worn and mobile teeth, gum recession, and grooving of the teeth along the gum line.

These symptoms result when the muscles of the jaw tries to adapt the altered tooth positions and function with the jaw to an appropriate position. The musculature is powerful and when there is a battle between the position of the teeth and the muscles, the muscles will win. This results in pain and damage to the teeth. 

Dr. Craig addresses these problems by determining any dental factors involved and designing a plan to help the individual resume an adapted level of comfort and then stabilize the bite to maintain that level – this solution is called  an occlusal equilibration. The procedure(s) will involve our team precisely altering the biting surfaces of the teeth and creating a  more ideal occlusion overall. Our goal is to create enough harmony between all the crucial parts of your smile (the teeth, the muscles, and the jaw joints) that the possibility of further damage and discomfort is minimized. By improving your oral function, we can even eliminate common problems like bruxism, loose teeth, severe wear, and significant headaches.

Contact our Lenexa, KS practice today if you have any questions about our TMJ therapy, or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation. We also welcome patients from the nearby areas of Olathe, and beyond.