Neuromusclular Dentistry – Treatment for TMJ & TMD
Benefits of Neuromusclular Dentistry
Patients of Neuromuscular Dentistry experience a range of benefits from decreased or eliminated pain and discomfort, to better overall health and longer-lasting dental restorations. They are relieved of the muscle spasms and pain related to all the symptoms mentioned above.
The Difference Between Neuromuscular Dentistry and Traditional Dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ, while traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones and gums.
Neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard and soft tissues, muscles and nerves. Neuromuscular dentists understand that your hard and soft tissues have a complex relationship and work to make that relationship a harmonious one. It all involves muscles and nerves, the power source that controls the movement, pressure, and function of the mouth.
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint,” or JAW JOINT. These are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw to the skull, and happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body.
The area of the face where the TMJ is located is an intricate network of bones, including the teeth, muscles, and nerves. They are essential to daily jaw functions such as opening and closing your mouth, chewing and speaking. Because of this, TMJ conditions affect many areas of the body, from the top of the head in migraine-like headaches to numbness or tingling in the arms and pain in the neck or shoulders.
What Are TMJ / TMD Disorders?
When the jaw joint and the nerves surrounding the joint become inflamed, all of the surrounding muscles including the head, neck, shoulder, back, and facial muscles work overtime to compensate often causing extreme pain.
TMD is a chronic degenerative disease that often takes years to develop. TMD affects millions of people. People who suffer from TMD have an imbalance in the jaw-to-skull relationship, which is caused by a bad bite (malocclusion).
Symptoms of TMJ / TMD Disorders
- Headaches / Migraines
- Uncomfortable bite
- Neck/shoulder/back pain
- Facial swelling
- Pain of the face
- Pain of the jaw joint and/or the ear
- Jaw locking when jaw open or closed
- Clicking or Popping in Jaw
- Ringing in the Ears
- Sensitive and Sore Teeth
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Numbness or Tingling of Hands or Arms
- Restricted ability or complete inability to open the mouth without pain
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
In most cases, TMJ disorders stem from a condition called Malocclusion, which means having a bad bite. Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way—they are misaligned. This includes underbites and overbites. When the teeth are misaligned, they cannot provide the support that the muscles in the face need for chewing and swallowing. These muscles are then forced into a strained position, resulting in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back. Although a person may have beautiful teeth or had orthodontics to line the teeth up for aesthetic reasons, the muscles and joints may not be comfortable.
Treatment for TMJ Disorders?
As a restorative and cosmetic dentist dedicated wholly to caring compassionately for his patients, our dentist commits many hours every year to ongoing education in the area of neuromuscular dentistry. Using this revolutionary science, he delivers low-frequency electrical impulses to the jaw muscles with the TENS K-7 unit. These neuromuscular impulses cause the jaw to relax in its ideal position, so that the cause of your TMJ dysfunction can be diagnosed. If the dentist finds your dysfunction stems from a bad bite, the dentist will recommend a treatment course, which may include further neuromuscular therapy, an orthotic mouthguard, or for severe cases, possibly bite reconstruction.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation with our office. We will help you decide which therapy would be best suited for you.