TMJ problems plague a large proportion of the population at some point. There are many other descriptions such as myofascial pain and termporomandibular joint dysfunction. Middle aged females are most prone but it can affect anyone. There are strong opinions in the dental profession about the causes and treatment of TMJ problems but it is not simple to define and there are not one size fits all solutions. Some ardently believe that the bite (occlusion) is the primary source of TMJ problems and therein lies the solution. However, this position is not well supported by the scientific literature. Many people with what an orthodontist would consider a poor bite are totally unaffected by TMJ problems while others with excellent occlusions suffer from it. There are certain triggers from orthodontic issues that may induce TMJ pain. For example, a tooth in anterior crossbite may cause the lower jaw to be held forward in an attempt to find a comfortable position. This means that the lateral pterygoid muscles that position the mandible forward are chronically contracted and may then suffer spasm like any muscle overused.

A starting point for the treatment of TMJ problems is a thorough exam to rule out any other medical or dental issues that may be causing the pain. Orthodontic treatment may be initiated with TMJ problems but palliative care should be provided to make the patient comfortable first. Interestingly, patients will usually experience a decrease in symptoms as orthodontic treatment commences as habits such as bruxism are disrupted as teeth move into new positions. Some practitioners insist that the TMJ problems must be “cured” before orthodontic treatment can begin but this is an unreasonable expectation considering the complexity and chronicity of the malady. However, orthodontic treatment should not be initiated in the face of acute symptoms. Any treatment plan for TMJ patients should accept that this is a multifactorial, chronic problem with occlusion as only one factor. The post-orthodontic treatment plan should include plans for continuing care such as an occlusal splint if the bruxism or symptoms persist. The keys to successful TMJ treatment are listening and patience to find what works rather than a reliance on a silver bullet approach that is hoped to work for all.

Montebello Drive West
2575 Montebello Drive West,
Suite 101, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Tel: (719) 268-7138
Fax: (719) 599-5107
Woodland Park
791 W Kelley's Rd,
Woodland Park, CO 80863
Tel: (719) 687-6129
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Bentele Orthodontics
What our patients say...

We went to an evaluation at an orthodontist before this one and the price seemed kind of high so then I came to an evaluation here & not only was the price lower but immediately we felt very comfortable and loved the atmosphere of the office. The staff is wonderful, always on time & Dr. Bentele is a great Dr. - very knowledgeable, friendly & with excellent communication. I would recommend this practice to everyone!

We highly recommend Dr. Bentele and his practice. He is honest, friendly, skilled & timely - you name it. He and his staff are wonderful! Angela at the front desk is especially kind and helpful. Best of all - Dr. Bentele creates a wonderful outcome of beautiful teeth. I've experienced two other orthodontists with other children and Dr. Bentele definitely outshines all - in every way - even in cost! I can't speak highly enough about Bentele Orthodontics!

This office is extremely thorough in explaining all aspects of orthodontics from finances to procedures. I'm very confident in this office.

Dr. Bentele makes the patient feel comfortable with his skill and calm confidence. He's honest about the treatment needed and tries to keep the patient informed of the treatment.

Dr. Bentele is our orthodontist for our two children. He provided clear treatment plans with a practical approach. Dr. Bentele does all of the banding and bonding himself and the office appointments are appropriately scheduled. Our children get in and out quickly and the office is never overscheduled, resulting in short waits and unhurried treatment. We're very satisfied and would recommend our friends to see Dr. Bentele!

Dr. Bentele and all staff have been very professional and the cost was reasonable. The approach of not having braces on longer than necessary is one area where I have seen other children suffer (children who went to other orthodontists). The way Dr. Bentele explains what he is doing and why has been good for my daughter to learn the importance of her treatment. I appreciate Dr. Bentele's patience with us as we experienced a difficult financial time during the beginning of our process.