This is an acronym for temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) which is a fancy way of saying jaw joint. Clinically we refer to problems associated with the jaw joint as TMJ dysfunction syndrome, commonly called TMD.
Who can have TMD
This can effect anyone although it occurs more frequently in women. In 50% of whiplash cases the TMJ is involved. The symptoms can show up sometime after the accident and not be immediately apparent.
TMD symptoms include
- Earache – ringing in the ears
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Numbness in fingers
- Facial pain
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Worn teeth/broken teeth left untreated TMJ symptoms can get worse with age
Clenching and grinding (parafunction) teeth at night puts you at risk of TMD. You may be unaware of this parafunction, but it often manifests in headaches and can be a trigger for migraines.
JVA (Joint Vibration Analysis)
TMD disorder is often progressive. A minor joint sound now may mean major pain later on. This is where Joint Vibration Analysis comes in.
Unfortunately most doctors and dentists are unaware of the availability of this test. Traditional methods involve palpating the muscles around the jaw joint and feeling for movement. These methods have proven to be statistically inaccurate. More modern approaches have involved x-rays and MRI scans but they expose you to radiation and are costly and they are not as accurate as JVA.
What is Joint Vibration Analysis
When two smooth well lubricated surfaces rub together, friction is minimal and very little vibration is created. If the surfaces are damaged and therefore poorly lubricated, friction is greater and the result is vibration.
Joint Vibration Analysis recorded the vibrations made by joint tissues during movements. JVA technology records vibration, not sounds. The JVA is more accurate than palpation using a stethoscope or even when a patient self reports. The patterns and the electronic signature of your joints are compared to known standards for healthy joints. The technology also provides important objective (factual) documentation so vitally important in personal injury lawsuits.
Joint Vibration Analysis is equipment that measure how well the joint functions while in motion. This is accomplished by placing headphones over the joints and recording the vibrations of either soft tissue or bone on bone grinding.
How does This Test Work
The test takes 30 minutes and is painless. A head set is placed over your head (like a stereo headset) with the vibration sensors on the skin over the TM joint in front of each ear.
You will be asked to open wide and close all the way 5 to 6 times. That’s all there is to it! Now the computer takes over to provide your Specific Vibration Signature to be evaluated.
Our practice is excited about this special procedure and the diagnostic benefits to our patients. If you have any questions about joint Vibration Analysis please feel free to ask a member of staff.
If we find that you have problems there are often fairly simple things we can do to improve or at the least stabilise the health of the joints. There are devices that can be worn at night over the teeth which can be extremely beneficial to people suffering from certain types of migraine.
Migraine pain may be caused or intensified by the muscles under your scalp!
It’s perfectly normal to clench your jaws when you sleep. We all do from time to time even during normal sleep cycles. But what happens when you clench your jaw muscles14 times more intensely than normal?
Migraine pain…chronic headache…and TMJ pain. That’s what happens
The mystery of migraine pain
People with migraine pain suffer a lot. Medical examinations often show however, that they’re otherwise perfectly healthy. A recent medical study confirmed that people who suffer from migraine pain and chronic headache clench their jaws in a balanced, centered position. This causes extremely intense muscular contraction, but little strain on the jaw. Night-time jaw clenching usually goes unnoticed but it sets the stage for migraine pain and chronic headache pain.
We now offer the NTI (Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Tension Suppression System) device that reduces clenching intensity by 66%! The NTI device is small, nearly invisible removable device that you’ll wear when you’re asleep. You can also be fitted with a removable NTI device to wear all day long.
Unlike the traditional mouthpiece with a flat surface, the NTI device is a custom-fitted device that prevents the tooth surfaces from ever coming into intense contact, you also eliminate high-intensity clenching and the muscular irritations that leads to migraine pain, TMJ, and chronic headache.