You Don’t Have to Live with Chronic TMJ Jaw Pain

With Neuromuscular Dentistry, Dr. van Zyl gets patients out of chronic jaw, neck and head pain caused by TMJ dysfunction.

TMJ/TMD Treatment


Dr. van Zyl is well-trained in Neuromuscular Dentistry, and he has been treating patients suffering with Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) for more than 20 years. The disorder often presents itself with what seems to be unrelated symptoms because it encompasses much more than just dysfunction in the jaw joints. TMD is a musculoskeletal disorder, affecting the entire body in some form or another. Of course, the main problem areas are often centered in and around the jaw joints. TMD is responsible for initiating chronic pain throughout the head and neck region, and sometimes that pain is debilitating. The most common symptoms of TMD are jaw, head, neck, back, shoulder, ear and non-specific facial pain. Most often, chronic tension and migraine-like headaches are also caused by TMD. The root cause of the condition usually is related to the position of the jaws and teeth. Just as your brain learns which muscles to contract and relax when you learn to walk, in the same way it learns where the teeth are and holds the lower jaw in that position for function. If jaw position and the position of the teeth are not optimal the joints will be compressed while the supporting muscle are overworked. The resulting inflammation in the joints and the muscles are responsible for all the pain. Balancing the bite is a crucial part of the treatment process.

The first step in treating TMJ dysfunction is gathering the necessary data captured with state-of-the-art digital equipment. This data is used to make an accurate diagnosis and to determine the appropriate course of treatment. With a firm diagnosis and treatment plan to eliminate the dysfunction, treatment starts with an anatomic orthotic. It is a customized anatomic splint, meaning it is shaped like teeth. The repositioned teeth on the appliance allow the jaw to function where joint compression and muscle stress are negligible. Bite adjustments are periodically necessary to ensure a stable and balanced bite. Often, incomplete development of the upper and lower jaws is responsible for dysfunction of this finely tuned system. Therefore, hoping to eliminate dysfunction without addressing this skeletal deficiency is counterproductive. Optimal jaw development must be an essential component in this treatment process to eliminate stress and strain in this complex system. A healthy, well-functioning TMJ system, where the muscles, jaws, jaw joints, teeth and nerves all work together is another dental key to health and wellness.

Actual Patient – Full Mouth Rehabilitation

Actual Patient – Full Mouth Rehabilitation

For many, TMD goes undiagnosed for years, because many healthcare providers have limited exposure to TMD and the scope of its associated symptoms. In defense, most healthcare providers do not know where to direct patients for treatment, since few dentists themselves treat the disorder. Those that do, have limited training and do not provide a long-term solution to the problem. The keys for successful treatment are, accurate diagnosis, a comprehensive understanding of the scope of the disorder, planning and executing the treatment plan.

No one suffering with chronic pain can enjoy a good quality of life. Dr. van Zyl provides this service in his practice, because of its life changing benefits. If you or someone you know suffers with the chronic head, neck and jaw pain caused by TMD, Dr. van Zyl can help regain your quality of life without surgery and medication. You don’t have to suffer alone any longer. There is hope for you to live a pain-free life.

Interested in a consultation about TMJ pain? Please email Dr. van Zyl here today to schedule your consultation.

It’s common for the TMJ pain sufferer to go undiagnosed. Something hurts so you go to the doctor. Typically, a general practitioner is not well versed in TMJ dysfunction, so at the end of your appointment you still have no answers and only walk out of the appointment with a prescription for pain medication and a muscle relaxer. In mild cases, the inflammation may go down periodically, but in severe cases, lacking a proper diagnosis stands in the way of treatment. If you or someone you know experiences the chronic pain associated with TMD, contact Dr. van Zyl for a consultation.

One of the common symptoms associated with TMJ disorder (TMD) is chronic and severe tension or migraine-like headaches. Migraine headaches can be disabling, forcing people out of their daily routines and into dark and quiet spaces, curled up into balls until the pain passes, or their medication takes effect. Unfortunately, the headaches become a part of life and sufferers tend to manage them on their own rather than seeking the help of healthcare providers. If you suffer from repeated migraine-like headaches and you have not received a rational explanation, you may have TMJ dysfunction and we recommend contacting Dr. van Zyl for a consultation.