Radio Spot – Jaw problems known as TMJ & TMD

Ben: Thanks for joining us, AM 1440 KUHL, it is Thursday and time once again for Dr. Dino’s cool truths about the tooth. We have Dr. Dino Bonyadii with us in studio, he’s a dentist in Santa Maria, doctor, it’s always good to see you.

Dr. Dino: Thank you Ben, good morning to our audience.

Ben: And today we’re going to be talking about TMJ and TMD, these are of course acronyms for much longer terms. But first of all, doctor, what is TMJ?

Dr. Dino: Well, TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. Temporal is the bone, side bone on our skull, mandible is our lower jaw, and the joint is the joint. It’s where our lower jaw hinges off of our skull.

Ben: Now along with that here TMD, let’s get into that a little bit.

Dr. Dino: Yes, TMD is basically temporomandibular disorders, this is a disorder where patients can have a clicking in their jaw joint, or they can have pain when they’re chewing. Some patients even sometimes wake up with a lock jaw, they can’t open their mouth. Or sometimes their mouth even locks wide open and they can’t close it. So, these are all different disorders. So TMD stands for a combination of all of these disorders.

Ben: What causes this disorder?

Dr. Dino: First you have to understand the anatomy of the lower jaw and how it hinges off of our skull. The lower jaw is a very unique joint in the sense that it’s bi-hinged, that means it’s hinged in two places on the right side and on the left side. So, the cause of this disorder could be many things. Between the bone, our skull bone and our lower jaw, which is called the mandible, there is a little disk and this disk can be defective, it can be perforated, or it can be misplaced. Usually if you hear a clicking in your jaw joint that is coming from the mandible, the condyle of the mandible which is the bone that kind of meets our skull, it pops on and off of this disk and that’s what the popping is.

Ben: Is surgery required for this?

Dr. Dino: Well, I would leave surgery as a last alternative. You know I am yet, I’ve seen a few cases of surgery, of course that does help but most of these cases are benign. A patient will experience pain for a while and then they don’t experience pain for a certain amount of time. Now the clicking may be there always and the clicking could be accompanied with pain or without pain. If it is with pain usually as we get older depending on what’s causing the clicking you know, and this can be evaluated by a dentist who’s knowledgeable about TMJ of course, you can determine if the condyle is jumping off of the disk in front, in the back or off of the side. So, these are all issues that you can look at and determine long term prognosis of pain and disorder that you will experience.

Ben: And we are speaking to Dr. Dino Bonyadii, Dr. Dino’s cool truths about the tooth. We are talking about TMJ and TMD. And of course, with this disorder here doctor is this something that affects children or adults?

Dr. Dino: Well, usually people start noticing the clicking of the pain in their teens and later in life. So, you know you may not have this problem for a long time and then at one point in your lifetime you start experiencing this. Now, as far as treatment goes, we really can’t cure the clicking. Even with surgery sometimes you can’t cure the clicking. What we can do, and what we do is mainly just address the symptoms which is pain, discomfort, and try to make the patient comfortable in that sense.

Ben: Would someone need to see a specialist, or can they can come in to see you about this?

Dr. Dino: There are specialists who specialize in this, there are very few of them, US School of Dentistry has one of the best oral facial pain departments. I think they actually have a satellite office in San Luis Obispo here. But there are a lot of dentists who are very knowledgeable and experienced. I personally have taken a lot of courses in this disorder, since my own wife suffers from this disorder. So, you know, I’ve tried to help her in as many ways as I can and therefore, I’m very knowledgeable and educated about this.

Ben: And are x-rays required?

Dr. Dino: X-rays can help because a part of this disorder may be due to arthritis, arthritic issues can cause that so x-rays will help but will not give a definitive answer. So, yes, x-rays I would say it should be a part of your diagnosis.

Ben: And doctor anything else that we should know about TMJ or TMD?

Dr. Dino: Well what I recommend audience do is treat your jaw joint as just another joint, as your knee, elbow, your back, often I see patients come in my practice and they tell me that their jaw clicks or locks if they put their jaw in a certain position. And usually these positions are really awkward positions, either yawning too big, or putting the jaw on a lateral movement, on a side movement, and one of the first recommendations I have is don’t put your jaw in that position.

Ben: Yeah, that makes sense.

Dr. Dino: Exactly and you can avoid that, you can eat softer food, take smaller bites, take longer to chew, you know all of this. If you have an injured knee are you going to go out there and play football? No, you’re not, you’re going to pamper the knee until it becomes well. Finally, I just want to address what I have found to be most beneficial to the patient as far as treating any TMD goes, my experience of course personally with my wife has been acupuncture. Acupuncture tremendously has helped my wife and a lot of my patients. After all, our jaw joint is hanging from our skull by muscle and ligaments and imagine if one of these muscles goes out of wack or one of these ligaments become inflamed, it will throw your whole balance of your jaw out.

Dr. Dino: Now, this is a very large topic. We can spend hours talking about it but basically that’s what I have found to be very helpful. Sometimes making occlusal guards as we talked about in our other programs will be beneficial, sometimes discrepancies in your bite. If you don’t have a balanced bite, that means when you’re putting your teeth together and they don’t come in in a balanced manner, this could cause muscle spasms in your face. And you can experience that as pain, so it’s not the joint but it’s the muscles that are causing that and I have treated a number of patients by simple occlusal adjustments I have been able to help the patient tremendously.

Dr. Dino: Also, as we’re going to talk about on our next program, we’re going to talk about orthodontics for adults, so, orthodontics for adults can also realign the teeth and give a patient better bite and hopefully alleviate some of the symptoms the patient’s having.

Ben: All right, little bit more on that next week.

Dr. Dino: Absolutely.

Ben: All right, by the way doctor if folks have any questions, a topic they want addressed here on the radio, they can get ahold of you and they can actually do that by email?

Dr. Dino: Yes, is our website and they can send me an email through there, or they can call the office at 925-7343.

Ben: And we can like you on Facebook.

Dr. Dino: Please do.

Ben: Dr. Dino’s cool truths about the tooth with Dr. Dino Bonyadii. Doctor, thanks for the time.

Dr. Dino: Thank you Ben, have a wonderful day.