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What Is Oral Appliance Therapy and How Does It Help With TMJ?

What Is Oral Appliance Therapy and How Does It Help With TMJ?

Hello, I’m Dr. Michael Gallagher and today I’d like to talk to you about a specific type of treatment I use at my practice in Eden Prairie for TMJ Disorder called “Oral Appliance Therapy.” If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) such as jaw pain, headaches, facial pain, or teeth grinding, you may be wondering what treatment options are available to you. Oral Appliance Therapy allows for the full stabilization of the jaw joint, putting an end to the painful cycle of muscle spasms and symptoms associated with TMJ dysfunction.

The particular type of Oral Appliance Therapy that we use here at Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center is called C2O/MAGO Therapy. Over the years of being a dentist, I’ve found that C2O/MAGO Therapy is one of the fastest, most effective methods for treating TMD symptoms. Most of my patients are able to obtain relief within a very short period of time (just a few weeks or less) and their symptoms either subside substantially or are eliminated entirely.

How C2O/MAGO Therapy Provides Lasting TMJ Pain Relief

The TMJs are the two joints on either side of your face that are responsible for the functioning of your jaw. When these joints are healthy, you are able to move your jaw freely and speak, chew, and swallow without discomfort. When they are unhealthy, moving your jaw can become painful and difficult, and eventually lead to TMD symptoms like headaches, teeth grinding, and facial pain.

Thanks to science, we now know that there is a direct relationship between the health of these joints and jaw alignment. The upper and lower teeth must come together correctly for the joints to remain healthy. Misalignment of the bite can cause the TMJs to become unstable. The chewing muscles spasm and contract erratically, causing a great deal of pain. In order to reverse this dysfunction, the teeth must be kept apart so the chewing muscles can relax and the TMJs can once again become stable. This is precisely what C2O/MAGO Therapy accomplishes.

What Is C2O/MAGO Therapy?

C2O/MAGO Therapy is a form of Oral Appliance Therapy. C2O/MAGO stands for Condylar Centering Orthotic and MAGO stands for Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthotic. A C20/MAGO is a device that is worn over the upper front teeth and adjusted weekly.

With this method, the teeth can successfully be kept apart. This reduces inflammation and allows the chewing muscles to relax so the jaw joints can regain stability.

Every week, calculated adjustments are made, allowing the TMJs to move into a healthy position. During this time, I observe and record the position of the patient’s jaw (also known as the hinge axis).

Benefits of C2O/MAGO Therapy

C2O/MAGO therapy is used to stabilize dysfunctioning jaw joints and muscles. The primary benefits of this form of Oral Appliance Therapy are:
● It provides relief from symptoms: Debilitating symptoms can be reduced or even eliminated entirely.
● It allows for an accurate diagnosis: Once the jaw joints are stable, an accurate diagnosis can be obtained, and a treatment plan can be devised thereafter.

What Are the Next Steps in TMJ Treatment?

Once the jaw joints are stable (which usually happens about 4-12 weeks into treatment), we can move on to the next steps. I can give you an accurate diagnosis of the root cause of your symptoms and create a treatment plan that keeps your teeth and jaw joints healthy.

It’s important to note that while C2O/MAGO Therapy can help relieve TMJ symptoms, it is not a cure. It is simply a stepping stone, albeit an effective one. In order for you to regain full health, we will need to address all of the issues that led to your symptoms in the first place.

More About Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center

Dr. Michael Gallagher and our Eden Prairie Dentistry team are committed to providing exceptional care and empowering our patients with information about their dental health. If you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment, we invite you to give us a call at (952) 942-9600. The outstanding experience of our dental team, Dr. Gallagher, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating our patient’s oral problems. We’re always welcoming new patients throughout Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Burnsville, Plymouth, Eagan, Richfield and surrounding areas. For more information, please contact us!

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