What Can a Joint Vibration Analysis Determine?
Typically, our joints are lubricated, so they do not rub together and cause friction and pain. But sometimes, those protective mechanisms break down. When this happens in the jawbone – specifically, the temporomandibular joints – it can result in temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs).
At Sangiv I. Patel, D.D.S., PA in Melbourne, FL, Dr. Sangiv I. Patel uses advanced equipment to diagnose and treat TMD. One such diagnostic is a Joint Vibrational Analysis (JVA), which is used to analyze the vibrations of the TMJ. Below, we'll take a look at what this procedure involves.
How is TMD diagnosed?
We're not always sure precisely what leads to temporomandibular joint disorders, but we know they can be painful and disruptive. Patients may feel soreness in the jaw or hear noises when they move their jaws before coming to Dr. Patel for a diagnosis.
The first step toward treating a TMD is to find out if there's an identifiable cause. To do this, Dr. Patel will consult with patients to discuss their history of jaw pain and habits (such as teeth clenching or grinding). Then, he will perform an exam to look for misalignments and signs that the jaw or teeth are damaged. He will also try to determine if the jaw is tender or inflamed.
During the exam, Dr. Patel may perform:
A Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA) to analyze the sounds of the joints accurately
An Electromyography (EMG) to evaluate muscle activity
A Bite Analysis (T-Scan Digital Bite Analysis) to test dental alignment
Joint Vibration Analysis is one of the best instruments dentists can use to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the proper treatment.
What is a Joint Vibration Analysis?
A Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA) records vibrations caused by movement of the joints below the ear so Dr. Patel can analyze them. During a JVA, you'll wear a device that looks like a pair of headphones. This will record the vibrations (not the sounds) of your TMJs as you open and close your mouth. This gives Dr. Patel an indication of what your jaw goes through while it's in motion (as opposed to something like an x-ray, which only shows one moment in time).
The vibrations should be minimal if the cartilage disc between the joints is in good shape. But in some cases, this wears down, and the bones grind together when you open and close your mouth. The JVA will give Dr. Patel a more objective sense of how much this is occurring.
What happens if my Joint Vibrational Analysis shows TMD?
Depending on what's going on with your jaw, there are a few different options to help treat TMD. While a JVA may diagnose a TMJ disorder, it still won't necessarily be clear what's causing it. That's why talking to the patient is so crucial.
For example, if you report headaches or jaw pain mainly in the morning, there's a good chance that teeth-grinding during sleep is at the root of the problem. In this case, appliances such as night guards can help alleviate the pain. Other options include dental procedures, such as bite modifications or even dental restorations.
Diagnose TMJ disorders in Melbourne, FL
If you have jaw or tooth pain, it's essential to see a dentist before it progresses.
You can get started on the road to healing by requesting an appointment with Dr. Sangiv I. Patel in Melbourne, FL for a Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA). Contact Sangiv I. Patel, D.D.S., PA today