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TMJ Therapy

TMJ Specialist in Greenwood, Indiana

One of the most difficult parts of TMJ disorder treatment or any kind of medical treatment is finding a good doctor or dentist. Diagnosing the disorder is difficult given the variety of symptoms it has and how it can correlate with a whole lot of other illnesses.  If you are looking for a TMJ Specialist in Greenwood, Indiana, Dr. Reese can help. With over 25 years of experience under his belt, he can correctly diagnose your symptoms and work with you and coordinate with other specialists on how to best treat your problem. Dr. Reese is an Indianapolis holistic dentist and he coordinates treatment of TMJ disorders with physical therapists and chiropractors. Usually, a dentist is the first health professional to consult. In fact, patients who experience popping, clicking, or pain in the jaw joint will often call their dentist first. To check for TMJ disorder, Dr. Reese will ask about symptoms, take a medical and dental history, and examine the head, neck, face, teeth, and jaw.

 TMJ disorders can be just a nuisance -- or it can be a life-altering problem. It has been shown to be closely linked to posture and digestive problems too. Getting someone to help you should be your priority.

How to Find a TMJ Specialist in Greenwood, Indiana (Or in Your Area)

Research within your area.

When it comes to TMJ disorders, there is no board certification and many primary care doctors may not know who to refer to. If your primary care physician does not know where to send you, do a search on Google for TMJ disorder specialists or the type of doctor you are looking for in the closest big city.

TMJ Specialist in Greenwood, IN
TMJ Specialist in Greenwood, IN

If you live or have recently moved to IndianapolisGreenwoodShelbyvilleMartinsville, or Southport, consider Dr. Reese for a TMJ disorder consult. Dr. Reese has been involved in the treatment and alleviation of painful joint conditions for many years. Because of his experience and training in the reconstruction of smiles and teeth, the proper function and role of healthy joint function and mobility has allowed him to help many patients suffering from years of ‘muscle tension headaches’, unexplained head and neck pain, or diagnosed TMJ problems that has not responded to previous treatment. Usually, Dr. Reese can recommend a treatment plan like  BruxGuard to help efficiently and effectively reduce pain, prevent permanent damage to the teeth, and reduce clenching as much as possible. He also recommends TMJ posture exercises you can do at home to help correct your posture that usually alleviates TMJ disorder symptoms.

Know your needs and what is important to you.

Do you want medical care that helps you make decisions and explains the choices you have in treatments for your TMJ?  Or, a TMJ dentist or doctor who makes the decisions for you without any discussion as to what the different choices were?  Or would you like something in between?

Dr. Reese will always explain what is happening and what your options are. He believes communication is the key for a trusting relationship with his patients. He can recommend various treatment options and let you know its pros and cons – but still lets you decide.

Verify credentials.

Make sure to make an appointment with a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.

Dr. Reese is a TMJ Specialist in Greenwood, Indiana

Dr. Reese is a member of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain and has been practicing dentistry for over 25 years. If you are suffering from head, neck, or jaw pain, please call Dr. Reese’s office at 317-882-0228 and ask for a TMJ consultation. We are located just north of Greenwood, Indiana on US 31 in Indianapolis.

TMJ and Digestion Problems – Is There a Link?

Temporamandibular (TMJ) disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain in and around the jaw joint (the temporomandibular joint) and its nearby muscles. They affect a person’s ability to eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, speak and even breathe. Research says approximately 35 million people suffer from TMJ disorders in the US.

What is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

Indianapolis TMJ Dentist
Indianapolis TMJ Dentist

Connecting the lower jaw to the temporal bone in the skull, the TMJ is a hinge joint made up of muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bones. Your TMJ is the most important joint in your body because an estimated 30-40% of all of your body’s nerve impulses run indirectly or directly through the TMJ. Any disorder affecting this joint will affect your whole body, from head to foot.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

As of the moment, not all causes are known. There have been conditions identified that are somehow indicative of TMJ disorders: injuries to the jaw area, arthritis, infections and auto-immune diseases.

What are Signs that I Have a TMJ Disorder?

Symptoms vary but pain is the most common symptom. Pain associated with TMJ disorders is often described as a dull ache anywhere from the jaw, ears, neck, head, shoulders and back. Dizziness and vision problems are often encountered. Since symptoms are common, diagnosing might take a while. This is why most people suffering from TMJ disorders have chronic pain.

TMJ and Other Problems in the Body

Jaw disorders create health problems that don’t appear connected in the body. Since the TMJ is a very large nerve joint, you can imagine how large its influence is on the motor aspect of your nervous system.  Imagine your head weighs as much as a bowling ball. If you hold a bowling bowl in a starting position when you are playing bowling, you can only sustain that position for a while until your shoulders and arms become sore or irritated. Hold that position for a while longer and you will notice your back, hips and thighs start to hurt too. This is how TMJ disorders work – it affects the whole body.

TMJ and the Digestive Problems

TMJ disorders are most often rooted to a bad bite. If you can’t bite properly, the first step of digestion, mastication, is affected. This is why TMJ disorders are connected to digestive problems too, though the exact correlation remains unclear.

“Temporomandibular Disorder (Jaw Joint Disorder) is associated with 112% more digestive complaints on average (in terms of the cost of medical treatment) as compared to a normal group. “

Source: Hill L, An Introduction to Mastication Analysis in General Practice, Oral Health, March 2013, Vol 103, No 3, pg 20-26. Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD

A Holistic View of TMJ

According to holistic experts, TMJ disorders disrupt the flow of energy in the body. When the flow of energy though the jaw is blocked because of stress or tension, all systems that flow through the jaw are affected as well. There are channels called meridians where energy flows. TMJ disorders affect six main energy meridians as they travel near or through the jaw. These meridians are the stomach, small intestine, adrenal gland, gall bladder, large intestine and bladder. As you can see, these meridians relate to digestive functions. You might notice that when you are stressed, you have trouble digesting food properly. One of the reasons is because your jaw is tensed or locked due to tension and stress.

TMJ Therapy and Treatment Options

Correcting TMJ disorders can correct a variety of system (nervous, digestive, immune, pulmonary) disorders as well.

Treatments of TMJ disorders are often short-term. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes  of Health, TMJ treatments should be reversible whenever possible. That means that the treatment should not cause permanent changes to the jaw or teeth. Pain medications, jaw exercises and stabilization splints are the most widely used treatments.

Patients can also opt to correct their bite to offer long-term solution to chronic pain associated with TMJ disorders. Make sure to make an appointment with a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.  If you live in the Indianapolis area, you can call Dr. Ted Reese, an accredited dentist practicing dentistry for over 25 years, at 317-882-0228.