General warning: What must NOT be done under TMD, yet is still being done

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Over the last decades, some of the treatments offered to TMD sufferers have been proven to be useless, irrelevant or even more damaging. Every affected person should know the worst pitfalls out there. Therefore, we list them here, and if you want to know more, you can reach out to us.

1. Injections into the jaw joints of any kind

Jaw joints are naturally sterile, no needle fully is. Therefore, “wash-outs” or “arthrocentesis” procedures are a bad choice as your jaw joints are not dirty and do not require cleaning. On the contrary, as they are sterile, injections of any sort introduce foreign material into the jaw, potentially creating more serious issues. Probing of jaw joints using needles should not be done either. There are better ways to get to know what’s going on.

2. Orthodontic treatment

Braces or aligners might give you artificially straight looking teeth, yet those are very different from a naturally good bite. Orthodontic treatment may give you a more  “beautiful” smile, but it comes at a price. It causes the jawbones to move downwards, the maxilla to drop clockwise, and this causes the mandible to retrude, hence pressuring the jaw and neck joints. Apart from the fact that orthodontistry is irreversible, and even contraindicated in cases of TMD according to the American Dental Association, there are many other reasons for not having it done.

3. Prosthodontic treatment without diagnosis or test-drive

Oftentimes, the so called “full mouth rehabs” are being offered to TMD sufferers. That’s not the thing to do. More often than not the jaw and neck joints are not being taken into account, neither in terms of diagnosis, nor treatment. Large prostho treatments could be the very last step after test-driving a bite for an extended period of time but this requires much caution and knowledge beforehand.

4. Night “guards”, inadequate “splints”

TMD is not being caused by “clenching” or “grinding”. The latter are consequences of TMD. Simply protecting the enamel via some kind of plastic is not the thing to do as it often worsens breathing, the airway and body coordination, creating more problems for you. Not rarely do “splints” worsen jaw joint compression. Everything you put in between your teeth over an extended period of time must be carefully handled as it shifts structures, not only teeth, irreversibly.

5. Shaving of teeth or “disclusion time reduction”

These are irreversible procedures that compress the jaw joints even more. They are not an adequate kind of treatment by any means. Horror stories are numerous, so this kind of invasive treatment must be dismissed. Don’t do it. No matter what you do, don’t do it, you got us?

6. Jaw surgery without proper diagnosis

Such an operation is very invasive, and irreversible. Jaw joint “replacements” are mechanically very different from natural jaw joints. They don’t have the best prospects in the long-run, and the materials of these artificial joints are known to cause allergies. Advancement surgery of the jawbones often does not take into account the jaw joints, so that any result regarding the jaw joints is often pure coincidence. Could get better, could stay the same, could get worse. That’s gambling, right?

So what’s the right thing to do then? –Well, this depends on your personal problem and situation. There is no cookie-cutter solution. If you want to know more, contact us (jawandneckjoint@gmail.com) and we can arrange a meeting for your needs.

(c) jaw-joint.com 2022

How to prevent TMD in children?

Photo by Fanny Renaud on Unsplash

Much emphasis has been given so far to the causes of TMD within this blog. But how can you prevent your boy or girl from developing jaw joint problems? First, damage done cannot be easily reversed without a lot of time, effort and money. Therefore, the following suggestions based on research and experience are much easier and cheaper to follow than any kind of medical treatment.

TMD has often to do with the birth process. In the past, women gave birth squatting instead of lying on their backs, as this is the natural way that puts the right amounts of pressure on the baby’s skull in the right spots for healthy development. A caesarean (C-section) birth should be avoided as much as possible as they do not provide the necessary pressure and it also does not give the child the needed microbiome from passing through the intended birth channel.

The next thing is, breast-feed! Do it as long as possible, ideally for the first two, or even better, three years of lifetime. The mammal’s nipples allows for tongue training. Correct tongue posture is crucial for adequate jaw development. Avoid spoon-feeding with mushes or porridges, as this will alter your baby’s pattern of using their tongues. Instead, give them pieces of hard food to hold on to, and to suck and chew on under supervision, allowing them to strengthen their teething jaws and learn how to properly swallow.

Next, make sure your child grows up in a natural environment with good surrounding materials. This includes housing. Wall paints, heating systems, climate controls, plastics or carpets leaking chemical fumes may induce subdued allergies in your child, causing noses to clog and mouth breathing, which in turn will alter tongue posture even more, and give malocclusion. If your child has become a mouth breather, look for getting myofunctional therapy for him or her. This is much superior to orthodontic treatment later. If tongue training is not enough there are ways of early intervention with appliances addressing the root cause. Please ask us what we would suggest.

Even in cases of given malocclusions, please refrain from braces, such as the common railroad tracks or aligners. These do not address the root cause, and might induce further harm. Please do not have teeth, such as wisdom teeth, removed. They are not unnecessary teeth. Blatantly wrong is the extraction of premolar teeth in preparation for orthodontic treatment. This is now common knowledge, yet extraction and retraction orthodonistry with elastics between jaws is still being done. We suggest to you not do that. It is better to accept the looks of crooked teeth than to do that. Having crooked teeth is far better than to have fake camouflage straight-looking teeth, but developing TMD due to treatment.

Please also consider improving your child’s lifestyle towards a more natural upbringing. Avoid prefabricated soft foods. Give your child enough time to play outdoors with their friends in nature. Don’t stress your child. Let your child be a child and develop freely with less pressure. Nowadays there are already enough burdens coming from school and high expectations on the shoulders of our children. If you want to know more about how to prevent TMD in your child or if you have specific questions, contact us for further information.

(c) jaw-joint.com, 2022