What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
If you’ve ever heard a dentist or another medical professional use the term neuromuscular dentistry, you may have wondered what exactly neuromuscular dentistry is.
Essentially, neuromuscular dentistry is concerned with treating problems like bruxism and TMJ-dysfunction. In both cases, patients may experience painful symptoms like frequent headaches, neck and facial pain, popping or cracking of the jaw, ringing ears, or numbness in the fingertips.
At Trillium Dental, our doctors can provide effective relief for painful symptoms through neuromuscular dentistry.
Treatment starts with identifying the patient’s ideal alignment. We do this by relaxing facial muscles with our TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) unit, an experience which many patients enjoy as it also relieve painful symptoms. Once we’ve determined your ideal alignment, we can begin taking measurements for your custom made orthotic. An orthotic is a special mouthpiece that is made by our lab and corrects alignment, bringing long-term relief to symptoms.
Do you have trouble with either bruxism or TMJ-dysfunction? Don’t put off treatment any longer.
Neuromuscular Dentistry TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, refers to your jaw joint. It is the spot where your lower jaw attaches to your skull, right near the front of your ear. When this joint is out of alignment, known as malocclusion, it can create a number of problems, including headaches, neck and facial pain, popping or cracking of the jaw, ears ringing or numbness in the fingertips.
To evaluate and treat malocclusion, we first relax the muscles in your face. Doing this allows us to identify the optimal occlusion where the muscles are when they’re not in an active state. We do this with the TENS unit. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator and is a gentle, non-invasive device often used to control arthritis pain. In addition to relaxing your jaw, it also relieves pain by helping to drain lactic acid from the muscles in your face. It’s a wonderful experience!
Once your jaw is relaxed to its optimal position, we can take measurements using the Myotronics K7 system. The K7 instruments were developed specifically to evaluate occlusion. These devices are lightweight and non-invasive. They track the movement in your jaw electronically. They can even record and measure the sounds that come from your jaw!
Once the measurement process is complete, we can reposition your jaw by getting you to use a custom-fit orthotic (mouthpiece). Over time, this orthotic will adjust your bite and bring it into the proper position. From there, we rebuild the bite to the optimal position, thereby reducing or eliminating all existing symptoms. We may use bonding or restoration material to slightly raise the level of some of your teeth, or we may even lower them slightly to bring your bite into alignment.
Every adjustment is done slowly and carefully. If we try to adjust your bite too quickly, this could cause you more discomfort. Our goal is to reduce and eliminate your pain!
A Healthy Smile Contributes to a Healthy Life!