Neuromuscular Dentistry

The majority of North Americans suffer from one or more of these symptoms of TMD/TMJ, and unfortunately in many cases these patients’ symptoms are either misdiagnosed or dismissed as having no physiological cause. Our bodies systems are fully interconnected. When one system is in distress or out of balance, accomodations are made by our bodies that can result in pain and malfunction. This same premise is true of our occlusion. A poor occlusion can cause discomfort to the surrounding musculature. Also, unbalanced musculature can cause premature wear and damage to our teeth.

Our bodies strive continually for balance. With our jaws, this balance occurs between the muscles that support our jaw and head and the teeth. If the teeth are in positions where the muscles are in a constant state of unrest, there will be resulting symptoms of pain, headaches, wear on the teeth etc. Imbalance in the muscles and teeth cause a tug of war between the two with the teeth bearing the brunt of the abuse. Based on the premise that muscular discomfort can cause corresponding changes and accomodations in our occlusion and vice versa, neuromuscular dentistry focuses on balancing occlusion in order to bring the muscles and teeth into harmony thereby eliminating pain and malfunction.

Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) are include:

  • Headaches / migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears)
  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic douloureux), a neuropathic pain disorder unrelated to TMD
  • Bell's Palsy, a nerve disorder unrelated to TMD
  • Sensitive and sore teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Limited jaw movement or locking jaw
  • Numbness in the fingers and arms (related to the cervical musculature and nerves, not to TMD)
  • Worn or cracked teeth
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joints
  • Jaw Joint pain
  • Clenching/bruxing
  • Tender sensitive teeth
  • A limited opening or inability to open the mouth comfortably
  • Deviation of the jaw to one side
  • The jaw locking open or closed
  • Postural problems (forward head posture)
  • Pain in the joint(s) or face when opening or closing the mouth, yawning, or chewing
  • Pain in the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints
  • Pain in the occipital (back), temporal (side), frontal (front), or infra-orbital (below the eyes) portions of the head
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Swelling on the side of the face and/or mouth
  • A bite that feels uncomfortable, "off," or as if it is continually changing
  • Older Bells palsy

Neuromuscular dentistry uses ultra-low frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) to deprogram the musculature. This allows the bite to be calibrated to the muscularly relaxed position called the "physiologic rest position". This is used as a starting reference position to find jaw relationship between the upper to lower jaw along an isotonic path of closure up from physiologic rest position to establish a bite position. Once a physiologic rest position is found, the doctor can determine the optimal positioning of the lower jaw to the upper jaw. An orthotic is commonly worn for 3-6 months (24 hours per day) to realign the jaw, at which point orthodontic treatment, use of the orthotic as a "orthopedical realigning appliance", overlay partial, or orthodontic treatment and/or rehabilitation of the teeth is recommended to correct teeth and jaw position.

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8:30 am-4:00 pm


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