The term neuromuscular dentistry sound serious doesn’t it? It sounds more like something a surgeon or heart specialist would perform rather than a dentist. Despite the serious name, it’s actually nothing to be afraid of and can actually be quite straightforward and painless.
Neuromuscular dentistry is a procedure carried out by specialist dentists to cure the cause of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. We have spoken about TMJ before, but here’s a quick recap.
TMJ is a misalignment of the temporomandibular joint. This is where the lower jaw meets the skull and is the pivot point for all jaw movement. Problems in this area can lead to a wide range of symptoms including:
- Headaches and migraines
- Facial pain
- Back, neck and shoulder pain
- Clicking jaw
- Sleep apnea
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Joint pain
- Sensitive teeth
- And many more symptoms
As you can see, TMJ can manifest itself in many debilitating ways. It’s our job to correct this issue and neuromuscular dentistry is one method we use to achieve it.
For such a serious sounding procedure, the reality of it is actually quite simple. Depending on the severity of the problem, we use jaw tracking and electromographic scanning to find out what’s wrong and to identify the optimum jaw position for your physiology.
Once identified, we use a custom splint to encourage your jaw to move and rest at that optimum. These splints are made from measurements we take during the scan. They will fit perfectly and ensure your jaw moves as it was originally designed to do. Once complete, your treatment should leave you happier, healthier and with much less pain that before.
As we are holistic dentists, Aesthetic Family Dentistry also offers a range of complementary therapies to address the symptoms of TMJ. They include massage, chiropractic treatments and acupuncture to ease pain and enhance wellbeing. Combined with the splint, this approach has proven extremely effective in the treatment of TMJ.
In severe cases, the neuromuscular dentistry approach may require us to design a long term splint, adjust your bite or perform orthodontics to address the issue. In the worst cases of TMJ, neuromuscular dentistry may involve surgery. Fortunately, this is rare and something we can discuss with you before you undergo any treatment.
Neuromuscular dentistry can be very effective in the treatment of TMJ and its symptoms, however it’s important to be aware that it isn’t a cure-all or magic panacea. There may be occasional bouts of pain or discomfort despite having treatment.
If you suffer from the symptoms of TMJ, or would like to discuss neuromuscular dentistry, contact us today to schedule an appointment.