Tackling TMJ Syndrome with Neuromuscular Dentistry
- Posted on: Mar 30 2018
TMJ syndrome is a relatively common condition, and yet one that few people know much about. For example, people who suffer chronic headaches or migraines may not consider that their head and neck pain stems from a lack of functional balance between the temporomandibular joints and the structures that support them. TMJ syndrome often referred to simply as TMJ, is most often associated with jaw clicking and a sense of stiffness. Beyond that, little exploration may occur.
If you’re one of the 10 million Americans who suffer from the symptoms of TMJ syndrome, you know how important it is to find ways to improve comfort. There are several suggestions you can find online and even in general dentistry practices. However, many of them revolve only around reducing stress on the joints of the jaw. This is good. It’s a good start that may be complemented with thorough neuromuscular dentistry protocols.
What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Sullivan have obtained post-graduate dental training that encompasses the inner workings of the entire oral anatomy. This training familiarizes dentists with the interrelationship between teeth, the jaw, muscles and nerves of the face, head, and neck. The understanding of needing balance for comfortable function enables the neuromuscular dentist to adequately diagnose and treat conditions like TMJ syndrome.
How We Help Our Patients
To effectively treat TMJ syndrome, we’ve got to know why pain is occurring. Does the pain occur because some of the teeth at the back of the mouth don’t fit against opposing teeth during mastication (chewing)? Is there misalignment in the bite that Dr. Sullivan can be correct? Is there a dental crown that is causing imbalance, or a worn-down tooth? This is a sample of questions that, when answered through sophisticated diagnostic testing, provide us with the path to improved comfort.
Our approach to treating TMJ syndrome isn’t complex; it’s just very precise. In addition to x-rays, we rely on data obtained through sonography, computerized testing, and Electromyography (EMG). In addition to using nightguards or fixed splints to balance the bite, we may restructure teeth that aren’t supporting function or use Botox to help the muscles of the jaw relax.
Posted in: Neuromuscular Dentistry