Neuromuscular dentistry involves the activity of the muscles that move the jaw. These muscles must be relaxed in order for the jaw joint and teeth to be in the correct position.
You could be experiencing neuromuscular dental problems if you:
- Suffer from headaches, pain behind the eyes or facial pain
- Have shoulder, neck and back pain
- Clench or grind your teeth
- Have pain, clicking or popping in your jaw joints
- Have teeth that are loose, or worn, chipped, or cracked teeth or fillings
- Experience numbness in your arms and fingers
- Have difficulty swallowing
To alleviate these problems, we must first find the position where the muscles are relaxed and at rest so that the jaws, teeth and muscles operate in harmony. We use several sophisticated instruments including a Myo-Monitor. This is a low frequency T.E.N.S. (Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) unit that relaxes the muscles of the jaw by sending them a rhythmic pulsing. The T.E.N.S. unit also increases the blood flow to these muscles, flushing out toxins. Usually the muscles are in the correct position after about 45 minutes of T.E.N.S. treatment.
Once we have relaxed the muscles and found the proper position for the lower jaw, we can fabricate an orthotic that allows the jaw to close to this ideal position. The orthotic is left in place for three months, allowing the muscles to heal and eliminating the pain associated with neuromuscular problems.
After this time, you and the doctor will together determine what further treatment is required: wearing the orthotic indefinitely, using orthodontics to move the teeth to their ideal positions or adjusting the bite to the ideal position.
So How Does Neuromuscular Dentistry Help?
The good news is that advances in the science of neuromuscular dentistry have taught us how to bring the jaw into a relaxed position. For example, we may recommend the use of dental restorations to precisely raise or lower areas of your bite, creating a naturally comfortable position for your jaw. In most cases, we can reposition your jaw without surgery or braces and complete the treatment in just a few weeks.
The Results: Feeling and Looking Better!
We’ve found that many patients experience a moderate to significant change in the facial appearance after treatment. Patients who had recessed lower jaws may have a new profile including a stronger jaw line and chin. Areas of the jaw that may have protruded will be pulled back into alignment. And all of the restorations necessary to correct your bite will be guided by the expert aesthetic judgement of the doctor.