TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ) affects quality of life and is a source of chronic pain for many people. TMD can produce symptoms such as:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Head and neck pain
- Sore jaws while chewing
- Pops or clicks in jaw joints
- Ear congestion
- Ear ringing (tinnitus)
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Sensitive teeth
- Severe wear and tear on teeth
- Tooth fracture
- Tooth loss
Neuromuscular dentistry is the art and science of finding your relaxed jaw position (correct bite) using high-tech Electromyograph (EMG) to track jaw muscle activity and find the perfect position of rest. Treatments are then devised to make this position permanent and eliminate painful TMD symptoms. Some of the ways we can treat TMD include:
Neuromuscular appliances called “orthotics”
- Cosmetic dentistry
- TENS electrical stimulation
- Physical Therapy
First, we will measure the muscle activity and tension in your facial muscles with our Myotronics electromyography equipment. After gathering the base levels of muscle activity, we will then use a TENS machine to relax your muscles. TENS electrical stimulation sends a mild, ultra-low frequency pulse into your jaw muscles to relax the muscles and reduce pain. This process will free them of increased lactic acid and by-products that are causing your pain and discomfort.When you come in for your TMD treatment, you will wear the TENS unit for about 45-60 minutes. When your TENS treatment is completed, we repeat the electromyography to determine the degree of relaxation of your muscles.
When we have confirmed your jaw muscles are relaxed and your bite is in good position, we use TENS electrical stimulation together with jaw tracking equipment to show us the best jaw position where your jaw joints and muscles are most stable and comfortable when resting, chewing, talking and swallowing.
At that time, we will have a neuromuscular orthotic appliance fabricated to this exact pain-free jaw position. Your orthotic therapy will continue over the next 3-4 months with adjustments every 4-8 weeks until your pain is significantly decreased or completely relieved. Some of our patients even decide to have their bites permanently rebuilt to this comfortable position after the completion of orthotic therapy. This process called full mouth reconstruction, will keep you comfortable and pain-free as well as giving you the smile of your dreams.
If you are suffering silently with TMD, don’t wait to contact us to get on the road to recovery. Our highly trained neuromuscular dentists and team are waiting to assist you!