Neuromuscular dentistry is a branch of dentistry pertaining to dysfunctions and disorders of the temporomandibular joint and supporting tissues. It is typically used to treat TMJ disorders in ways that address underlying problems rather than symptoms. By treating TMJ disorders at the source, neuromuscular dentistry can indirectly provide relief for problems like jaw popping, tinnitus, jaw pain and chronic headaches and migraines. Most neuromuscular dentists use advanced imaging technology to map the mouth and identify disproportions and other complications that could be leading to TMJ disorders. Based on the diagnosis, a treatment plan – such as an advanced orthodic or surgery – can be formulated to reposition the jaw or remove obstructions.
Did you know…
that the maxillofacial nerves, tissues and muscles surrounding the jaw are interconnected? Even a small problem in one of these areas can have a domino effect, resulting in pain and discomfort all around the mouth, jaw, neck and shoulders. Some of the most common TMJ disorders are caused by bruxism, malocclusion and traumas to the face.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I visit a neuromuscular dentist?
You should see a neuromuscular dentist if you are experiencing any symptoms of night grinding or TMJ. During your visit, your bite and temporomandibular joint will be evaluated, and you will discuss potential options for treatment.
What should I expect during neuromuscular dental treatment?
Your treatment may begin with surgery to remove impacted teeth or other obstructions, such as scar tissue. You may then be fitted for a corrective device that will help optimize the position of the jaw. In the mean time, your neuromuscular dentist may prescribe medications to prevent pain or inflammation during the course of treatment.
Will I need to follow any post-care instructions?
You may be required to follow special instructions following a TMJ surgery. This may include frequent cleaning of the surgical site or temporarily consuming a limited diet of liquids and soft foods. If you have teeth removed, you will also be advised to avoid drinking from straws and smoking, as doing so can cause dry socket. To find out more about the types of guidelines you will need to follow after undergoing neuromuscular dental treatment, contact your dentist today.