What is TMD or TMJ Therapy?

TMD is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.  Everyone has a TMJ, Temporomandibular Joint.  It becomes a disorder when the TMJ has symptoms, pain, clicking, popping, limited opening or function, or even crepitus.  

Can I have a bad bite and not have symptoms?

Yes, severe tooth wear, abfractions, broken teeth, crooked teeth, and obstructive sleep apnea are indicators for possible malocclusion or TMJ issues.

Why does my jaw make a clicking sound?

The TMJ disk is synovial, meaning it is compressible.  It is most common for the jaw to make a clicking sound when patients open.  It is rare for it to click also when they close.  The click sound is heard, and sometimes felt, when the jaw pops back onto the disk.  This can seem backwards to what most people think.  It is common for patients I treat to feel they are “popping off the disk” when they open.  What is actually happening is when they put their teeth together, the disk is being compressed and/or displaced from where it needs to be and pops back into position when the open and the jaw moves down and forward.

What is the treatment for TMD?

Every patient is different and treatment recommendations can be very diverse.  Treatment usually involves improving the symptoms, followed by treatment to support the patient from returning to the issues.  Dr. Woodruff does this by first making an orthotic.

Why see your office for TMD/TMJ treatment?

Dr. Woodruff and his team are trained and familiar with many approaches addressing TMJ/TMD therapies.  We believe in objective data to determine the best possible care.  We utilized tools and equipment unique to dentistry that are modern and practical.  Dr. Woodruff received a fellowship with the Las Vegas Institute for Physiologic Dentistry in 2018.  He is part of a worldwide network of doctors committed to providing dental solutions addressing TMD.  His experience with the organization can be found at. In addition to the LVI protocols, Dr. Woodruff is familiar with VIVOS Therapeutics and has received training with the Facial Beauty Institute.  Dr. Woodruff utilizes his background with Oral Myofunctional training and jaw development orthodontics in addition to his experience with neuromuscular dental training to individualize and develop solutions for his patients.  Dr. Woodruff utilizes an orthotic to first stabilize a patient seeking care before proceeding into restorative treatment.  Or goal as an office is first to diminish and stabilize a patient’s symptoms before proceeding into restorative treatment.  We pair our treatment with objective tools and data, like EMGs.

What is an EMG?

Electromyography is a diagnostic way to measure muscle activity and the nerves that innervate them.  It is non-invasive and part of our new patient exam.  EMG readings tell us what muscles function, their intensity, as well as muscle frequency.  The muscle frequency is a window into underlying challenges like chronic fatigue or even botox in the muscle that may be affecting the muscle activity.

emg photo    emg photo