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to the website of Dr. Louis R. Vita and the Vita Head, Neck and Facial Pain Relief Center. Dr. Vita offers a full service general dental practice in his comfortable location just off Clifton Avenue, at 991 Van Houten Avenue, across from the Clifton Municipal Complex. He is one of the region's leading authorities focusing on two special areas:

  • Comprehensive TMJ Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry

The practice of Louis R. Vita, D.D.S. actively treats patients who experience pain or other disorders of their Temporomandibular Joints, more commonly known as TMJ.

Dr Vita's treatments relieve pain associated with head and neck disorders. The common symptoms of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Headaches located at the temples, top of the head, or the back of the head
  • Facial muscle pain and tightness
  • Ear pain, clogging, and ringing
  • Clicking or popping noises from the joints while chewing and opening
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Inability to open the mouth wide as in the past
  • Poor posture
  • Sensitive teeth and loose teeth

Physical changes that may be noticed include:

  • Swelling of the cheek muscles
  • Slouching or tilting of the head
  • Wearing out of teeth
  • Over closure of the mouth and lips
  • Fullness of the neck
  • Crooked Chin - Facial Asymmetry

TMJ problems most often develop from some type of injury. These TMJ related problems may occur at a very young age from a fall, motor vehicle accident, or direct strike to the chin from sports or other physical activity. Repetative microtraumas such as bad sleeping habits, poor posture and incorrect lifting and carrying can also cause a misalignment of the atlas vertebrate ( the top cervical bone in the neck ) and contribute to symptoms of a TMJ disorder.

Once an appropriate and specific TMJ diagnosis has been established, specific treatment will be offered. The most common non-surgical therapies include:

  • Appropriate occlusal splints to help relieve TMJ muscle tension and create joint support
  • Manual muscle therapy to help in proper movement and aid in muscle coordination while relieving TMJ pain and spasm
  • Specific nerve block injections, muscle trigger point injections or Botox® injections to address specific local areas of pain source
  • Atlas orthogonal therapy to address the atlas bone malalignment which can contribute to headache, neck or back pain, and poor posture
  • TMJ pain management with laser and radio frequency energy to ensure the healing of damaged TMJ tissue
  • Occlusal equilibration to help balance the bite so the teeth can then support the jaw joint
  • Medications to address pain
  • Restorative dentistry

If the injury is deemed severe enough, corrective surgical measures may be necessary. This would be to prevent further changes in muscular or bone structures. In young children, TMJ injuries can lead to improper growth causing facial deformities and alterations in the bite, while in adults the changes are accompanied by regression of the condyle (bone of the mandible connecting within the TMJ) with retrusion of the lower jaw. TMJ disorders can also lead to osteoarthritis.