This is an acronym for temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) which is a specialists’ way of saying jaw joint. Clinically we refer to problems associated with the jaw joint as TMJ dysfunction syndrome, commonly called TMD.
This can affect anyone although it occurs more frequently in women. In 50 per cent of whiplash cases the TMJ is involved. The symptoms can show up a little while after the accident and not necessarily apparent straight away.
Clenching and grinding (parafunction) teeth at night also puts you at risk of TMD. You may be unaware of this parafunction, but it often manifests in headaches and can be a trigger for migraines.
TMD disorder is often progressive. A minor joint sound at present may lead onto major pain later on. This is where Joint Vibration Analysis comes in.
Traditional methods involve palpating the muscles around the jaw joint and feeling for movement. These methods have proven to be statistically inaccurate. More modern approaches have involved x-rays and MRI scans, but they expose you to radiation, are costly and not as accurate as JVA.
When two smooth well-lubricated surfaces rub together, friction is minimal and very little vibration is created. If the surfaces are damaged and therefore poorly lubricated, friction is greater, and the result is vibration.
Joint Vibration Analysis record the vibrations made by joint tissues during movements. JVA technology records vibration, not sounds. The JVA is more accurate than palpation using a stethoscope or even when a patient self-report. The patterns and electronic signature of your joints are compared to known standards for healthy joints. The technology also provides important objective (factual) documentation which is vitally important in personal injury lawsuits.
Joint Vibration Analysis is equipment that measures how well the joint functions while in motion. This is accomplished by placing headphones over the joints and recording the vibrations of either soft tissue or bone-on-bone grinding.
The test takes 30 minutes and is completely painless. A headset is placed over your head (like stereo headphones) with the vibration sensors on the skin over the TM joint in front of each ear.
You will be asked to open wide and close all the way five to six times. That’s all there is to it! Now the computer takes over to provide your ‘Specific Vibration Signature’ to be evaluated.
If we find that you do have problems there are often fairly simple things we can recommend improving, or at the least stabilise, the health of the joints. There are devices that can be worn at night over the teeth which can be extremely beneficial to people suffering from certain types of migraine.
Migraine pain may be caused or intensified by the muscles under your scalp!
It’s perfectly normal to clench your jaws when you sleep. We all do from time to time even during normal sleep cycles. But what happens when you clench your jaw muscles 14 times more intensely than normal?
Migraine pain…chronic headache…and TMJ pain. That’s what happens.
People with migraine pain suffer a lot. Medical examinations, however, often show that they’re otherwise perfectly healthy. A recent medical study confirmed that people who suffer from migraine pain and chronic headache clench their jaws in a balanced, centered position. This causes extremely intense muscular contraction, but little strain on the jaw. Night-time jaw clenching usually goes unnoticed, but it can set the stage for migraine pain and chronic headache pain.
We now offer the NTI (Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Tension Suppression System) device that reduces clenching intensity by 66 per cent! The NTI device is a small, nearly invisible removable device that you’ll wear when you’re asleep. You can also be fitted with a removable NTI device to wear all day long.
Unlike the traditional mouthpiece with a flat surface, the NTI device is a custom-fitted device that prevents the tooth surfaces from ever coming into intense contact. You can also eliminate high-intensity clenching and the muscular irritations that can lead to migraine pain, TMJ, and chronic headache.
To all our patients
Following an announcement by the Chief Dental Officer for Wales, we are delighted to inform you that we will be seeing patients again on July 2nd.
We hope that you and your family are well. The whole country has been through a lot over the last few months and we all look forward to returning to normality. Whilst somethings have changed, one thing remains constant; our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been of prime importance at the White’s Dental Centre as you will have seen during your appointments over the years. Our infection control processes are designed so that your dental care is safe and comfortable. We are writing to tell you about some of the procedures we have in place at the moment to ensure you receive the highest quality care.
As always, our practice conforms to all the regulations and guidelines published by the official healthcare bodies in Wales.
You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made those changes to protect you and ourselves. For example:
We will phone you before your appointment to ask some screening questions You will be asked again at your appointment On arrival please wait in the porch or your car and phone us We will invite you in and take you straight up to the surgery Please allow for social distancing Attend alone if possible Please limit belongings such as bags and coats Please wear a mask to the practice Please use the sanitizer after entering We have temporarily removed magazines and suspended the complimentary coffee facility Our toilets are for urgent use only We must stress that these are temporary measures to help keep us all safe.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
We thank you for your trust and loyalty and look forward to seeing you soon.
With very best wishes,
Matthew and Pamela White and all our staff.