I’m a long time TMJ sufferer whose been through several dentists, and specialists over the years. Upon my last examination, my dentist wants to refer me to an occlusion specialist to evaluate my TMJ symptoms. I’m curious why my current dentist can’t treat me and what exactly an “occlusion specialist” will do for my TMJ. Thoughts?
-Terry in Nebraska
Disorders of the jaw joints vary widely and therefore, can be difficult to diagnose and treat. There are some conditions that can lead to TMJ disorder. Occlusion problems, or bite problems such as misaligned teeth, can lead to or result from TMJ pain.
I’m sure your current dentist can treat you to a degree, however due to the complexity of TMJ, she probably wants to refer you to someone who went through extensive occlusal training. Different doctors have different ways of treating TMJ symptoms. While “occlusion” is not a recognized specialty, there are dentists who may have undergone extra continuing education in that department. This new dentist may perform a more in depth examination, consisting of an occlusal analysis, which is an examination of your bite. Since TMJ can be caused by or cause occlusal disharmony, that’s an excellent staring point. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD