Dr. Jernell Escobar DDS of Gilroy, CA has become one of the first dentists in the country to graduate from the prestigious Interdisciplinary Dental Education Academy (IDEA) in Foster City, CA.

Her certification specializes in diagnosis and treatment planning in interdisciplinary dentistry, or a treatment plan that uses more than one type of dentistry, for patients with and without dysfunctional problems related to temporomandibular joint disorders, commonly called TMD.

Dr. Escobar is an expert in the field of TMD and craniofacial pain and became certified to treat TMD at IDEA. The academy provides the highest standard of advanced continuing dental education, based on the its world-renowned faculty, small group size and hands-on training.

Dr. Escobar has made improving the quality of life for people living with TMD and craniofacial pain the focus of her life’s dental work. Her focus is on Cranial Mandibular System — emphasizing not just the joints, but also the relationships between the teeth, the joint, the muscle and the ligaments of the jaw. She treats the whole person and focuses on the role the temporomandibular joint plays in the system.

In addition, Dr. Escobar’s Gilroy office is one of only seven in the United States to have new measurement technology called CADIAX, which measures near the joint, on the axis — a distinct advantage in this practice to treat TMD. The proven technology guarantees high precision, and the system is easily comprehensible and transparent.

TMD or TMJ, what is the difference?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bones of the skull, located in front of the ear on both sides.

The joint lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, to allow you to talk, swallow, chew, yawn, even breathe.

TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, which happens when you have problems and pain associated with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control the jaw.

TMD can cause a wide range of symptoms that not only affect your jaw, but can affect your whole body. TMD reportedly affects as many as 15% of all Americans.

The causes of TMD are often unclear. Many dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.

Common symptoms include facial pain, jaw gets “locked,” difficulty chewing, swelling of the face, tired feeling in the face, headaches, dizziness and neck aches.

Possible causes of TMD include arthritis, dislocation of the disc in between the ball and socket of the jaw, injury to the jaw or face, tooth and jaw alignment, stress and teeth grinding.

Diagnosis is an important step before any kind of treatment is attempted. With Dr. Escobar’s expertise in interdisciplinary dentistry and uses of new measurement technology such as CADIAX, those living with TMD and craniofacial pain can now have a solution to their problems and greatly improve the quality of their lives.