This patient was experiencing biting and chewing difficulty. Her jaw was clicking and popping along with some grating sounds when opening and closing her mouth. The jaw joint sounds are a result of a malfunction between the lower jaw, skull and disc.
The three main parts to the TMJ need to work in unison and when they are in dysfunction, jaw joint noises result. Sometimes there is tenderness of the jaw and other times there is severe jaw joint pain. Another symptom is difficulty opening and closing the mouth because the muscles, ligaments, disc and lower jaw are completely out of synchronization.
Patient can suffer from all types of TMD or temporomandibular joint dysfunction and the cause of these problems and the solution can be quite simple. This patient has an interesting story about how her TMJ problems started.
She had recent dental work completed with several dentists. Her current restorations fell short of achieving her cosmetic expectations and on top of that, they caused her severe TMJ pain and discomfort. She was experiencing constant neck pain and headaches and also difficulty chewing; none of which she felt before.
After seeing three different dentists to no avail, she wondered if anyone could help her. She did some research online and was very impressed when she came across Dr. Muslin's cosmetic dentistry website. Not only does Dr. Muslin have dozens of remarkable "before and after" images of his actual patients, but he also presents thorough knowledge of TMJ function and neuromuscular dentistry.
After her first visit with the doctor, she was convinced that Dr. Muslin was the best dentist in Los Angeles to help her. He explained to her that her bite was misaligned and how a bite reconstruction with Facelift Dentistry treatment could benefit her. The prospect of straight, white teeth and her jaw would also feel better sounded too good to be true to her, but this was exactly what she was looking for. During this visit, the Dr. Muslin had a temporary solution to test his TMJ diagnosis. He felt that the problem was the result of the porcelain crowns that were recently placed by the other dentists. These new crowns are part of her problem but she also had a symptom free deep overbite that also contributes to the TMJ pain.
The next step was to "test" her bite by adding height to her back teeth. This was done quickly and painlessly with temporary composite filling material that he bonded to her new crowns to get the bite aligned. The very next day the patient reported that her "teeth feel normal again. I can eat and chew normally and the pain is virtually gone!"
She had started Invisalign® treatment, but suspended the procedure just before she presented herself in our office. "Instant Braces" proved a better choice for her because they straightened her teeth in a matter of weeks instead of months or years. Veneers are also a good alternative to braces because they keep the teeth in place so the patient avoids the need to wear a retainer for the rest of her life.
Dr. Muslin attempts to achieve a cosmetic balance with his restorations that go far beyond what traditional braces or invisible orthodontics can accomplish. With the laminate veneers, Dr. Muslin was able to change both the shape and shade of the teeth. Her natural teeth were slanted in, which made her upper arch appear small for her mouth. The porcelain veneers made her smile appear wider and filled in the dark spaces in the corners of her mouth.
The goal of her treatment was to save as much tooth structure as possible and get her bite as comfortable as possible so a combination of porcelain crowns and noninvasive veneers were placed on her upper teeth. The veneers were done without any shots or grinding to her natural teeth. These veneers, or "Instant Braces", are a great way to instantly whiten and straighten your teeth without damaging the natural tooth structure. The patient also decided to have her overbite corrected and have straight white teeth to go along with a wider smile. The results were a lifestyle enhancement for this patient.
She now has a beautiful and youthful-looking smile that lightens up her face. The treatment required porcelain crowns that supported her TMJ and non-invasive porcelain veneers to support her face. Her fuller smile provides support to her upper lip and rejuvenates her entire appearance. The best part is that her bite feels completely comfortable with the over bite correction. She couldn't be happier with the results.
Patients today can have treatment that can actually transcend their expectations. They can get TMJ pain relief and at the same time have their entire face revitalized by only working on their teeth. Deep overbites are bad bites and generally contribute to TMJ pain and jaw joint tenderness. Some patients don’t even know how much energy they are wasting by adapting to a bad bite over their lifetime. These patients are not experiencing severe enough TMJ pain to get their bite corrected. But when the bite is synchronized with the TMJ, all elements of a person’s health can benefit and these previously symptom free patient will say, “I never knew how much more comfortable a great bite can be, I can’t believe how much better this is”.
One benefit would be significant stress reduction in the head, neck and jaw regions. Another benefit is pain relief and chewing comfort. Some of these patients are taking two Advil almost every day, which are about 700 Advil per year and 7,000 Advil over 10 years! Dr. Muslin says, “Rather than treat the symptoms with pain medication, treat the problem instead”. Another beneficial element is the preservation of the natural teeth.
Most patients that are 70 years old have teeth that are significantly worn down and yellow. These older patients show lower teeth while the younger patients show upper teeth. Dr. Sam Muslin’s unique and exclusive non-invasive Dental Face Lift® can preserve the teeth, ideally reposition the lower jaw and remove 10 to 15 years from the average 55 year old face without surgery. The older patients will benefit even more. Some of the 75-year-old patients say, “Why should I do this at my age?” Dr. Muslin answers, “Because it will determine how you are going to live the rest of your life!”