Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, or TMJ, is an umbrella term for a wide range of painful symptoms such as headaches and neck pain that are associated with jaw dysfunction. As the pioneer of a new treatment for TMJ Syndrome, Mosman Park / Perth based dentist Dr. Vicky Ho is trying to raise awareness of this syndrome in 2016.
Mosman Park, Western Australia – Feb. 22, 2016 – To help sufferers of Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) around the world, Dr. Vicky Ho, cosmetic dentist and founder of Dr. Vicky's Smile Design Studio, is launching a new campaign this month to raise awareness of this difficult-to-diagnose syndrome. Not only is she releasing an ongoing series of videos documenting her patients' progress via the Dr. Vicky's Smile Design Studio website, but she is also making herself available to area residents and media outlets interested in learning more about this breakthrough treatment for TMJ syndrome.
Dr. Ho says that TMJ syndrome refers to pain or dysfunction of the muscles that move the jaw, and is often caused or worsened by night-time grinding of the teeth. Over time, TMJ sufferers can experience a wide range of painful symptoms, including neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, migraines, dizziness and vertigo, tingling in the fingertips, tinnitus, postural problems, insomnia, sensitive teeth, restricted jaw movements, loose teeth, and more.
Because of the diversity and severity of these symptoms, most TMJ pain sufferers visit a primary care physician or neurologist first, which can lead to a missed diagnosis if they are not trained in the area of TMJ disorders. In fact, Dr. Ho says that often she sees patients who have been living with TMJ symptoms for 15 to 20 years without a proper diagnosis and treatment.
"I'm usually the last course of action because most people who have all these symptoms don't know what to do," Dr. Ho said. "Usually, someone with persistent headaches would go to their doctor, then a neurologist, then get MRIs, and even then they usually can't find anything wrong with these people. They go on all sorts of painkillers, and sadly that's what we find, that most people have been on this treadmill going round and round and they never find the solution."
But over the past decade, the Perth dentist has developed a long-term treatment for TMJ treatment. As part of Dr. Ho’s TMJ Pain and Headache Relief Program, she uses a combination of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and custom orthotics for TMJ patients. Using an electrical current, TENS stimulates the jaw muscles while also allowing her to create a digital map of the patient's jaw alignment. She then creates a custom orthotic which can be worn at night, and over time this can help repair the jaw alignment and prevent the painful symptoms of TMJ.
However, the dentist says that because the treatment is new and TMJ syndrome is so underdiagnosed, few patients even realize the treatment is available. That's why this month, Dr. Ho is launching a new media awareness campaign to help educate both patients and the medical community at large.
"Most doctors don't know much about TMJ pain and what they can do, so often they just end up treating the symptoms. But by correcting the alignment, we can often offer them a permanent solution that is non-invasive, completely drug-free, and without the typical TMJ surgery. With this holistic approach to treating TMJ Syndrome, by repairing the alignment of joints and muscles instead of simply using medication to dull the pain, we treat the very source of the problem."
Patients and members of the media are encouraged to visit Dr. Vicky Ho's website for more information about TMJ Syndrome.
About Dr. Vicky’s Smile Design Studio
Smile Design Studio offers an advanced dental experience to their patients; not only do they solve dental problems like the TMJ disorder, but patients leave with a reinvigorated smile. Their services include cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers, Invisalign, dental implants, teeth whitening and more. Their dental practice prides itself on having a welcoming, pampering atmosphere. To learn more, visit http://www.smiledesignstudio.com.au
Dr. Vicky Ho
Title: Cosmetic Dentist, Founder
Smile Design Studio
Phone: (08) 9468-3322
1/592 Stirling Highway
Mosman Park, 6012 WA