TMJ and Migraine Therapy In Anchorage

TMJ disorders cause many symptoms that can impact your everyday life, including causing difficulty chewing and chronic headaches. Dr. Joshua Kennedy is one of the few G-neuromuscular (Gnathologics + Neuromuscular = GNM) dentists in Alaska. He has undergone additional training in TMJ disorders and GNM treatment and is available to help patients in Anchorage, AK.

What is TMD?

TMJ DentistryThe temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are found on either side of the jaw and connect the skull and lower jawbone, allowing for speaking, chewing and other movements. TMD disorders involve any dysfunction of the TMJ that causes irritation and inflammation of the joints. TMD may be intermittent or chronic; symptoms range from uncomfortable annoyances to severe pain and limited movement.

There are many potential causes of TMD, and each case is unique. Teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching teeth at night or during times of stress can cause TMD disorders. The TMJs are ball and socket joints, which can dislocate and lead to TMD. Other causes include trauma such as an auto accident, an improper bite, stress and diseases, including arthritis in the TMJ.

TMJ Disorder Symptoms

The most notable symptom of TMD is headaches, and this causes many patients to schedule an appointment with a g-neuromuscular dentist, such as Dr. Kennedy. TMJ dysfunction creates tension in the jaw and skull muscles and overstimulates the trigeminal nerve, which is a trigger point for various headache disorders. Other TMD symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Earaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Difficulty opening the mouth wide
  • Locked jaw in an open or closed position
  • Grating, popping or clicking sounds with jaw movement
  • Tired sensations in the face
  • Tinnitus (ringing ears)
  • Misaligned bite
  • One-sided facial swelling
  • Tooth pain
  • Difficulty chewing

Why Choose Dr. Kennedy, a G-Neuromuscular Specialist

Dr. Kennedy completed educational courses and training sessions at Occlusion Connections, an advanced teaching center that upholds the principles of GNM dentistry. He is dedicated to his patients and is known for taking his time to discuss and evaluate dental concerns. His experience and training make him an excellent dentist for improving TMD disorders. Dr. Kennedy understands the fundamental physiologic principles of TMD and GNM occlusion and knows what to look for and how to optimize the jaw position and stabilize TMJ muscles.

Dr. Kennedy evaluates the temporomandibular joints, muscle stability and mandibular function and knows how to optimize your bite for proper alignment. He has special training in the how, why and what of TMD disorders and treatment. Dr. Kennedy knows the musculoskeletal occlusal signs and symptoms of TMD that are often missed during routine dental exams. He has the knowledge and diagnostic insight to diagnose and treat TMD with GNM orthosis and other treatment methods.

What is GNM Orthosis?

GNM orthosis is an orthopedic appliance customized to your bite needs and works to realign the mandible for an optimal position in relation to the skull to relieve pain and restore function. The g-neuromuscular device stabilizes the TMJ and fits over the lower arch to re-position the jaw. This treatment option improves TMD disorders by improving function and comfort and is custom fabricated for your needs. Dr. Kennedy customizes your TMD treatment plan using the six dimensions of optimal occlusion, and the removable GNM appliance is often a great way to correct jaw position.

Other TMD treatment options include relaxing the jaw muscles using K7 and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). The goal of treatment is to eliminate TMJ-related pain and provide a long-term solution that allows patients to speak and eat freely.

If you experience TMD disorder symptoms, schedule a dental exam today with Dr. Kennedy in Anchorage, Alaska. Contact Turnagain Dental by calling (907) 272-6122 or filling out our online contact form.