Dr. Gerald Maher is the TMJ and facial pain specialist at Dental Associates of New England. Dr. Maher has a breadth of experience in this specialized area of expertise. TMJ therapy begins with an in-depth analysis and prognosis of the disorder, then proceeding with TMJ treatment. We encourage you to visit our Boston offices to understand more about this disorder and your treatment options.View transcript
My name's Gerald Maher; I'm a TMJ Facial Pain Specialist for Dental Associates of New England, and have specialized in facial pain, headaches, and TMJ since 1976. TM joint problems can come from a multitude of sources: Genetics would be one, orthodontics would be another, physical activity would be another, such as weight lifting, football. Blows to the head and neck would be another. Car accidents would be another. Dentistry that has caused a problem in your mouth, missing teeth, things of this nature, can also cause a TM joint problem. The big key in the results or the prognosis for the patient is the diagnosis. Diagnosing facial pain in multifaceted, and sometimes there is more than one culprit that is causing the pain. It could be the temporomandibular joint and also the neck; the person has a problem with the vertebrae and the neck. They both have to be addressed to get good results. There are two basic types of diagnosis which we call extracasular, which would be outside the joint, which would be a muscular problem, and intracapsular, which is inside the joint, which is a disc problem. The treatment for the two diagnoses is different. If in fact you have someone with a muscular problem, you would want to refer them for chiropractic care, physical therapy heat, and probably a muscle relaxant. If in fact you have someone who has an internal joint problem, then you want to fit them with an orthotic or a mouth device that stabilizes the temporomandibular joint.