There exists much confusion in the fields of TMJ, occlusion, and facial pain, not only among patients but within the dental community itself. There are many dentists who do not want to treat "TMJ" patients. Older dentists may not want to meet the time demands of the population, and new dentists are often inadequately trained. It is our observation that fewer dentists are knowingly treating the TMJ today than at the end of the 20th century. The bottom line is that many patients have a TMJ problem, and they do not know it because their doctors have not been trained to recognize the early signs that precede actual symptoms such as pain. At our Libertyville office, Dr. Guldbek has put the temporomandibular joint first. It is the foundation of the jaw structures. This is the foundation that supports the bite. This is the foundation that must be stable to prevent pain. Dental or pain treatment should start with an accurate assessment of this foundation.
If you have never experienced a TMJ problem then you may not appreciate the value of having a dentist who knows about the temporomandibular joint. But what you may not realize is that you are even less likely to develop a TMJ disorder if your doctor knows how to practice preventive dentistry by fixing your bite in a way that the joint is not injured. In general, the more complicated your bite, the more likely that you can acquire a TMJ problem if you are not fixed appropriately. We teach our students how to prevent injury to the TMJ by establishing a functional bite that does not stress the joint.
Some TMJ disorders are asymptomatic or painless. Therefore many patients are not aware that they may have a potential problem. When a dentist can pick up an early abnormality, more serious damage can be avoided. Serious damage to the joint can occur with or without pain. Most dentists never examine the TMJ. Dr. Guldbek has been trained to recognize when a joint has an early problem that may become more serious. At our Libertyville dental