#51 What Dentists Should Know About TMD/TMJ But Don’t

I have noted previously that dentists have been charged with treating TMD/TMJ by default. The medical profession did not want anything to do with treating the joints attached to the jaw which is the substructure for the teeth.  Medical doctors do not want to have anything to do with teeth.  That is unfortunate because, if the Orthopedic Surgeons responsible for treating the other joints of the body had maintained control of the studies and science for TMD/TMJ, the solution would have come to light 50 years ago.

The Temporomandibular Joints operate like all the other joints of the body.  Why Orthopedic Surgeons chose to relegate the TMJs to dentistry slowed down the simple and effective treatment of TMD by nearly 100 years.  TMD was first recognized and documented in the medical literature by Dr. John Costen, a physician, in 1936.

And for the most part, dentists dropped the ball for almost a century.

Why did they avoid vigorously pursuing, studying and treating TMD for so long?  My opinion is because they did not think it was a worthy pursuit compared to figuring out how to restore damaged teeth, and replace missing teeth.  The whole emphasis of the dental profession for the past 100 years has been repairing and replacing teeth.  This is certainly a worthy pursuit but in no way encompasses the broad spectrum of oral and masticatory diseases.

Left with treating TMD by default, here are the things all dentists should know about TMD/TMJ but don’t. If known, these facts would encourage dentists to vigorously learn about this devastating disease and treat it properly with ease for both patient and provider.

Forty-five percent (45%) of females in the US are afflicted by one or more of the symptoms of TMD/TMJ.  This is a huge number of people.  Roughly 76 million females in the USA alone.  One Fourth, (1/4) of the patients in a dental practice have TMD/TMJ Symptoms.  Most of these are overlooked by the dentist and many are misdiagnosed by the medical establishment.  It is primarily a female disease because estrogen exacerbates inflammation, a fact known in the scientific literature for over 60 years.

If dentists knew how many of their own patients, they would learn all the symptoms associated with TMD/TMJ.  Most dentists know that if the pain is localized around the jaw joint, the patient can’t open widely, or the TMJ makes weird noises it is probably TMD.  However, most don’t know that the most common symptom of TMD is headache, usually diagnosed by the medical establishment as migraines, and the second most common is neck pain.  They also do not know that ringing in the ears, subjective hearing loss, vertigo and arm/hand/finger tingling and numbness are known symptoms of TMD.

Dentists think they are responsible for treating teeth and do not know they are responsible for treating all the problems of the masticatory system.

Dentists are afraid to treat TMD/TMJ because they think it is complicated to treat and understanding the concepts of the disease and treatment are beyond their abilities.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Everything they need to know about understanding the problem and treating the problem can be reviewed or learned in less than 4 hours of study.

If they knew how easy it is to successfully treat TMD/TMJ more dentists would jump at the chance to apply these skills to helping their current and future patients.

Once a dentist starts treating TMD/TMJ successfully, he will also learn that it builds his practice rapidly by the goodwill generated from patients who have suffered from TMD/TMJ for years or sometimes decades without relief.  Once patients experience relief, the treating dentist will be their dental provider for life.

Patients are always very thankful and appreciative and reward the dentist by referring all their friends and family.

If you know a dentist who should know more about TMD/TMJ tell them about us.  Our patented, FDA cleared, non-surgical Urbanek Device and Protocol has been validated by independent university studies and available to use by any interested dentist.  A growing number of dentists throughout the United States are already using this simple technology in their practice.

We are here to help you no matter where you live.