Neuromuscular Dentistry – Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Improperly aligned joints or jaw can cause severe symptoms which may affect eating habits, posture, and even your mood. Neuromuscular dentistry in Spring, TX, aims at fixing alignment problems by viewing the teeth, jaw, neck, and head as a unit.
In this article, we discuss the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of TMD. Kindly read on for more information.
What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw and the skull. Neuromuscular dentistry aims at properly aligning the temporomandibular joint and jaw for a balanced bite. It also focuses on how the teeth, facial muscles, and jaw joints work together when you open or close your mouth.
Dentists near Spring consider teeth position and its relationship with joint and muscle function to create a balanced bite and adequately aligned jaws for patients that experience severe pain or reduced function in the jaw.
Who Needs Neuromuscular Dentistry?
The teeth, muscles, and temporomandibular joints (TMJ) work together to give a balanced bite. A misalignment in any of these three affects the bite, causing chronic pain. If you have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), +neuromuscular dentistry near you is necessary to fix bite problems and alleviate pain.
Symptoms Of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
You should get neuromuscular dentistry near you if you notice symptoms like;
- Clicking sounds in your jaw joints, especially when chewing or opening your mouth
- Ear pain, especially when chewing or opening your mouth
- Painful or tender jaws, joints, face, neck, and shoulder
- Unintentional teeth grinding
- Constant migraines and headaches
- Ringing ears
- Frequent jaw stiffness
- Worn-down teeth
- Tingling or numb fingers
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
There are several causes of TMD, and the most common include;
- A jaw or joint injury
- Bite problems
- Jaw misalignment from poor posture
- Decay from grinding or clenching the teeth
- Inflamed cartilage
- Genetics, including arthritis or degenerating bone disease
Diagnosis of TMD
Neuromuscular dentistry near Spring diagnoses TMD by feeling facial muscles and TMJ function when you open and close your mouth. Usually, pain, tenderness, clicks, and locks are signs of misalignment. Other diagnostic tests for TMD include;
- Full face X-rays or CT scans: dentists near Spring use this test to view TMJ and jaw position to detect if there is any misalignment
- Electromyography (EMG): for this test, jaw muscles generate electricity to measure muscle and nerve function. EMG also shows the stressed and relaxed position of the muscles and any reaction to movement.
- Sonography: this test utilizes sound waves in detecting problems with jaw alignment. Neuromuscular dentistry in the 77379 area usually listen to any abnormal sound emanating from the jaw to detect TMD
- Computerized test equipment: this test measures jaw movement. It is suitable for measuring the jaw’s proper resting position and also identifying any misalignment problems.
Treatment of TMD
TMD treatment focuses not only on individual teeth but on the jaw, head, and neck. Neuromuscular dentistry near Spring provides a customized treatment plan depending on the cause of TMD. Common TMD treatment methods include;
- Cosmetic treatment: dentists use implants, bridges, dental crowns, or Invisalign to fix bites and properly align the teeth.
- Exercises: specific jaw exercises can stimulate and relax the jaw muscles, especially for people that clench or tighten their jaws because of stress
- Splints or night guards: This customized mouthpiece can prevent the upper and lower teeth from joining. For people that clench or tighten their teeth in their sleep, this treatment option is most suitable. In addition, night guards reduce the effects of teeth clenching and properly align the teeth.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): this treatment plan utilizes a small wand in sending small electrical pulses to the jaw muscles. These pulses stimulate the nerves, thus relaxing the muscles and fixing teeth’ alignment problems.
Leaving TMD untreated can amplify the symptoms and affect your eating habits, sleep, mood, and posture. Once you feel recurring headaches, ringing ears, or any other sign of TMD, visit neuromuscular dentistry in 77379 for proper diagnosis and treatment.