TMJ is the term widely used when referring to Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), a complex group of disorders characterized by pain and limited mobility in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as well as surrounding tissue. It is estimated that 35 million adults suffer from TMJ Disorders, however, there are few medical professionals experienced in diagnosing and treating these complicated conditions.
Dr. Virga has done focused post graduate training on the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ Disorders. Using the latest techniques combined with state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Virga is able to identify, diagnose and treat the root cause of TMJ disorders and provide relief to patients suffering from persistent and painful symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder vary in their presentation and can be very complex, but are often simple. On average the symptoms will involve more than one of the numerous TMJ components: muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue, and the teeth. Ear pain associated with the swelling of tissue near the joint is a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder. There are many causes for TMJ Disorders, often, it is trauma to the face or head. Patients with TMJ Disorders often exhibit signs and symptoms very different from one another, which makes diagnosing TMJ Disorders a challenge.
Frequently signs or symptoms may include:
In dentistry, there is no one size fits all solution for any problem or condition; this couldn’t be more true for TMJ Disorders. Each problem is unique to the individual patient and treatment planning is entirely dependent on the diagnosis. Dr. Virga has worked with many TMJ patients, giving him a library of cases to reference and compare to when creating a treatment plan.
There are many external factors that place undue strain on the TMJ. These include but are not limited to the following:
Patients with TMD often experience pain such as migraines or headaches, and consider this pain TMJ-related.
When treating patients with TMJ Disorders, Dr. Virga takes a conservative approach whenever possible. Therapies for TMJ may include:
Occlusal splints (also called night guards or mouth guards) reduce nighttime clenching in some patients, while increasing clenching activity in other patients.