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  • I have TMJ. What does that mean?
    TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw to your skull. There can be pain and dysfunction resulting from disorders related to either or both TMJ. These symptoms are collectively referred to as TMJ disorders (TMJD or TMD) and can be caused by various factors.
  • Why can’t you tell me what the standard treatment is for TMJ problems?
    We can't provide treatment options over the phone without a proper diagnosis. Just like you wouldn't expect treatment recommendations for a stomach ache without seeing a doctor, facial and jaw pain requires a thorough history, exam and diagnosis first. Once diagnosed, a personalized therapy plan can be created, as there's no one-size-fits-all solution.
  • My jaw hurts. What’s going on?
    Jaw pain can stem from various sources, including dental problems, injuries, infections, or issues related to muscles and joints. An Orofacial Pain Specialist, equipped with extensive additional training in this field, is adept at conducting a comprehensive assessment to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your discomfort and develop a tailored treatment plan.
  • I can’t open my mouth. What’s going on?
    Limited mouth opening can result from various factors, including dental problems, trauma, infections, muscle and/or joint issues. An Orofacial Pain Specialist is trained to diagnose and treat these issues.
  • I have already seen many TMJ specialists and tried different splints. I am still in pain. What makes your approach different?
    Orofacial Pain Specialists are trained to pinpoint the source of your symptoms. TMJ issues that are not resolving are often complex with multiple factors contributing. It is imperative to determine all of these factors and address each of them in order to see improvement. Once the cause is identified, a tailored therapy plan can be developed. There's no universal treatment that fits all patients.
  • I was told that my TMJ disc is dislocated. Does that mean I will need surgery?
    Typically, a TMJ disc dislocation does not require surgery as the majority of joints are able to adapt and function comfortably even with a dislocated disc. Dr. Jurash will be able to support you through the process of adapting to this new disc position.
  • I was told that my TMJ disc is dislocated, and someone could put it back in place. Can you do that?
    Once a TMJ disc is completely dislocated, it cannot be “put back in place”. The TMJ is a complex joint with many structures, including muscles, ligaments, and bones. When the disc is displaced, it affects the overall balance of these structures. Over time, the surrounding tissues adapt to the new position of the disc. This makes it basically impossible to restore the disc to its original location.
  • My dentist recommended Botox for teeth clenching and grinding. Do you recommend Botox as well?
    Botox serves as a valuable treatment for chronic muscular pain, but it's generally not the initial course of action. When conventional treatments like stretching, thermal therapy, appliances, trigger point injections, and dry needling prove unsuccessful, Botox becomes a viable option. It's important to note that a significant number of patients find successful treatment without resorting to the use of expensive neuromodulators like Botox, which often entail recurring injections every 3-4 months. Our primary goal is to achieve success with cost-effective alternatives that are equally effective, sparing patients the burden of ongoing expenses.
  • I see a neurologist for my headaches already. Why would I need to see you?
    While seeing an orofacial pain specialist isn't mandatory for headache treatment, an evaluation can help determine if head or neck issues contribute to your headaches.
  • I’m on a lot of medications for my headaches. Are there really other options for treating headaches?
    Yes, Dr. Jurash is trained to offer non-invasive, non-pharmacological therapies for managing migraines, cluster headaches, hemicrania continua and paroxysmal hemicrania. She will assess your suitability for these therapies and collaborate with your physicians for comprehensive care. Please see the Migraine tab for more information.
  • I’ve been told that I have mild sleep apnea and that I don’t need any treatment. Is that true?
    All levels of sleep apnea should be addressed. Even mild sleep apnea can pose significant, long term health risks. Dr. Jurash works with sleep medicine specialists to manage obstructive sleep apnea and she can provide guidance based on your sleep study results.
  • Why is a dentist treating a sleep problem?
    Not every dentist is equipped to handle obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Jurash distinguishes herself with dual certifications: she is a board-certified orofacial pain specialist and as well as being board certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. This additional, in-depth training underscores Dr. Jurash's exceptional qualifications in the management of sleep breathing disorders.
  • What does it mean to be a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine?
    This is the highest credential in dental sleep medicine. ABDSM Diplomates have met the rigorous certification requirements and have extensive education that aligns with the AADSM’s evidence-based standards for practice. Dentists who are Diplomates of the ABDSM have demonstrated that they have the skills and knowledge essential for the delivery of excellent patient care.
  • What kind of treatments are available for sleep apnea?
    If you've received a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea, you can schedule a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy. Dr. Jurash will also examine your sleep study results to determine if you may benefit from positional therapy. Additionally, if you're experiencing symptoms like allergies or restricted nasal breathing, Dr. Jurash can assist you in addressing these concerns as they may be contributing to your sleep issues.
  • What is an Orofacial Pain Specialist?
    An Orofacial Pain specialist is a dentist who has completed 2-3 years of additional training in diagnosing and treating pain disorders in the head and neck region. This specialist has typically passed the ADA-recognized board exam. Dr. Jurash has completed a Masters degree in Orofacial Pain from USC and received board certification with the American Board of Orofacial Pain.
  • What is the difference between a TMJ/Craniofacial Pain/General Dentist and an Orofacial Pain specialist?
    Orofacial Pain is a distinguished dental specialty acknowledged by the American Dental Association (ADA), much like the more widely recognized field of Orthodontics. It's important to note that "TMJ Specialists" and "Craniofacial Pain Specialists", are not recognized by the ADA.
  • What does an Orofacial Pain Specialist do that is different from other dentists?
    An Orofacial Pain specialist focuses primarily on diagnosing and treating TMJ-related disorders, muscle and nerve disorders of the face/neck region, primary headaches (such as migraines) and sleep-related breathing disorders. General dentists can provide care for some of these disorders, however they do not have the same education, training and board-certification.
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