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3 Healthcare Professionals you MUST see when you have TMJD

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Many TMJ (Temporomandibular Disorder) -related symptoms are caused by the effects of physical stress on the structures around the joint. These structures include:

  1. Cartilage disk at the joint

  2. Muscles of the jaw face and neck

  3. Muscles of swallowing and airway

  4. Nearby ligaments blood vessels and nerves

  5. Teeth

It takes a team of professionals to help with your healing process. We recommend starting with these three healthcare professionals to begin your journey to healing.

1. ENT specializing in TMJ (not any ENT)

  • See an ENT for a CT scan or MRI to check for bone and joint problems

  • Obtaining the CT Scan or MRI is critical for treatment planning for long term results

  • Then see a Myofunctional Therapist to assess the tissue of the head, neck, and jaw swallowing and speech function.

2. Myofunctional Therapist specializing in swallowing

Myofunctional Therapists/SLP play a huge role in preventing TMD and getting our patients out of pain. We assess not only the muscles, but we also impact the incorrect function of the jaw, tongue, airway, and oropharyngeal muscles on swallowing, speech, and voice.

3. Orthodontist specializing in Airway and TMJ

  • Before going to an orthodontist specializing in TMJ and Airway, a Myofunctional Therapy assessment should be administered. Why? The Myofunctional Therapist assesses the soft tissue and screens for structure. This information is helpful to the orthodontist in the initial consultation.

  • An Orthodontist specializing in the airway and TMJ will assess the hard palate structures, possible home sleep study, as well as the bite and alignment.

  • The Orthodontist may prescribe a splint, expander, and orthodontic treatments

  • Collaboration between the Orthodontist and Myofunctional Therapist is critical as treatment plan timelines are important.

  • Remember the muscles move the bones so your muscles must be patterned to your new bite with Myofunctional Therapy.

Get a FREE consultation today!!!

TASL Speech Therapy Consultants offer Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy care for Teens & Adults in the Houston community. From issues with misaligned teeth, tongue-ties, tongue thrust, swallowing disorder, TMJ, Jaw dysfunction, and speech issues.

How Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) Can Help You!

Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT), a modality of exercise therapy, has also been suggested for the management of TMD to equilibrate the orofacial muscles and to favor the execution of the teeth, jaw, and associated jaw, swallowing, and speech muscles. OMT has the following positive effects in treated patients:

  • a significant reduction of pain sensitivity to palpation of all muscles studied but not for the TMJs;

  • increased measures of mandibular range of motion;

  • reduced frequency and severity of signs and symptoms; and

  • increased scores for orofacial myofunctional conditions.

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