Everyone has headaches at some point in their lives. However, if you frequently get headaches, facial pain, trouble chewing, talking, or even yawning, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
Neuromuscular dentistry aims to find the source of headaches and myofascial pain, cure the symptoms and underlying problems, and enhance patients’ overall well-being. In contrast to conventional dentistry, which focuses solely on the teeth, Neuromuscular dentistry considers the teeth, muscles, and position of the jaw joint.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a ball-and-socket joint that links your lower jaw to your skull. Among its many functions, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) regulates not just how you open and close your mouth, but also how you chew food and speak. Even your ear canals, shoulders, and back can be affected by a problem with your TMJ.
Temporomandibular joint disorder, often known as TMD, is a condition in which the joint in your jaw is misaligned. A misaligned jaw can lead to issues with your bite and severe pain that can be incapacitating. You must seek treatment for TMD to avoid the painful and unnecessary damage that can be caused to your teeth by a misaligned jaw.
The temporomandibular joint is involved in nearly every mouth movement. The joint allows us to bite, chew, swallow, and talk. Injury to the jaw joints or the surrounding tissues can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder. The following other factors can also cause TMD:
Researchers are investigating whether hormones play a role in TMJ disorders, given that women are more likely to suffer from them.
You should be aware that sounds (like clicking or popping) emanating from the TMJs that are not accompanied by discomfort are pretty common and do not require treatment. Other symptoms that indicate a TMJ disorder include:
At rest, your jaw should be aligned and in its most relaxed position.
By addressing the alignment of the temporomandibular joint, neuromuscular dentistry treats the problem at its core rather than simply treating symptoms. In neuromuscular dentistry, a patient’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is moved into its proper, natural alignment using specialized procedures to restore proper function and correct malocclusion.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy is a treatment that is used in neuromuscular dentistry. In TENS therapy, electrical impulses are delivered to the nerves in the patient’s jaw. Nerve stimulation will result in a relaxation of the jaw muscles and increased joint and jawbone mobility.
Not only can TENS therapy alleviate the pain associated with TMD, but the posture and alignment acquired during TENS therapy show the best position for your occlusion and temporomandibular joint.
After determining your neuromuscular alignment, your dentist will administer treatment to help restore occlusion and posture. Various treatments can be used, including TENS, orthotics, orthodontics, and restorative dental procedures.
At All About Smiles, we specialize in restoring face and jaw muscles to their ideal positions using neuromuscular dentistry. Anyone who suffers from TMD can come to us for assistance in finding relief from their painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lewis Yu and Dr. Grace Liu at our office in Wilmington to learn more about how neuromuscular dentistry can help you.
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!