When the jaw is misaligned, both the hard and soft tissues are affected and many physiological problems can result, such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, jaw pain, clicking or popping in the jaw, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). In a number of cases, these symptoms can actually be attributed to TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). A neuromuscular dentist may be able to help you if you are suffering from any of these symptoms and help you regain ideal dental function.
Benefits of Neuromuscular Dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ/TMD. While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard and soft tissues, muscles, and nerves.
If the jaw is not properly aligned, neuromuscular dentistry may help to address the precise cause of the problem, whether jaw joint, muscle, or tooth position. Treatment plans developed by neuromuscular dentists are designed to correct bite abnormalities by allowing the jaws to function at their optimal positions for the long term.
What is involved with neuromuscular dentistry?
- First, your orthodontist will determine the optimal position of your jaw by measuring the relaxed position of your head and neck muscles, and then reposition your jaw to achieve those exact measurements.
- Malocclusion can be relatively easy to correct. Treatment options include adjusting the bite, orthotics, orthodontics, or restoring the teeth to their correct positions.
- Adjustments to a person's bite can be accomplished using an oral appliance, such as a splint or mouthguard, until the bite has been permanently stabilized. Orthodontic work may also be required to ensure proper alignment, in addition to dental restorations such as crowns or tooth recontouring.