There are many different causes of TMJ and Facial Pain. They may be trauma related , both physical and psychological . Habit related , such as clenching or grinding . Or related to abnormal bite development or changes created by a dental professional . Pain or dysfunction may occur after prolonged dental procedures . Some of these issues are short term, but some may linger for years .
Some patients suffer from jaw joint arthritis and bony changes . These are the most difficult to treat as they sometimes require surgical intervention .
For many years we treated patients with dental appliances and exercises and medications . Some patients respond well and some do not .
Over 18 years ago we started treating patients with lasers and and saw significant improvements in pain and mobility . Most recently Dr.Shiffman entered into training with Dr.Darick Nordstrom and his Oralase/Smilelase program . Oralase /Smilelase uses the same two laser wavelengths in our Fotona Laser . Dr.Nordstrom describes Oralase in the following .
From pre-natal development through adulthood, humans build resilience through a sequence of maturational events. We know many of the early childhood milestones as Primitive Protective Reflexes, but there are many more that quietly build on this foundation. Due to environmental influences and different traumas, one or more protective reflexes may not mature (or will be re-activated), and critical nerve pathways may be â€˜off-linedâ€™, causing the brain to attempt a coping strategy (neuroplasticity). This becomes essentially an extra layer of â€œbureaucratic burdenâ€ that further reduces resilience. Sleep disturbances (including apnea, enuresis, reflux), curious communication or relationship errors, food fetishes, fears (including panic), self or body image, unusual sensitivities, or chronic pain, etc., are typical symptoms of learning sequence gaps and unresolved traumas. All of these profoundly influence natural oro-facial growth and development, since they are both inextricably intertwined . OraLase Technique recognizes that the oro-facial zone is central to the bodyâ€™s natural integrative process (which is foundational for developing resilience), and that nearly all of the critical maturational milestones are pre-verbal, involving touch and proprioception. OraLase uses a specific wavelength, intensity, and pulse shape, in an initial sequence ofstrokes, predominantly in the orofacial regions, to create unique, comfortable / pleasurable sensations that activate a primitive response. This appears to release oxytocin and open aâ€˜Limbic Windowâ€™ through which cortical memories can be coordinated with cerebellar patterns to now allow old traumas, developmental inconsistencies, and frustrations to complete natureâ€™s integrative processs. [These traumas and gaps would otherwise perpetuate â€˜Limbic Hypervigilanceâ€™, which appears to be a common component in chronic disease] Concurrently, common orofacial and cervical restrictions associated with peri-natal andearly childhood injury / trauma, and which perpetuate faulty neuroplasticity and/or LimbicHypervigilance, are comfortably treated with the same laser now used in PBM(PhotoBioModulation) or pain reduction modes. Typically, â€˜off-linedâ€™ nerves appear to reconnect,functionally. With the OraLase sequence preparation (Limbic Window), the brain readily processes the new sensations in their correct context, and replaces the maladaptiveneuroplasticity patterning.
We have had tremendous success with these different treatment modalities . If you are suffering with short term or chronic head and neck issues , including some types of Tinnitis , please reach out to us .