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Neuromuscular Dentistry

Placing your jaw into its optimal position

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Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ.

While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard tissues and the soft tissues, muscles and nerves.

Neuromuscular dentists understand that your hard and soft tissues have a complex relationship and work to make that relationship a harmonious one. Neuromuscular dentists understand the necessity for including the power source (muscles) and the controls (nerves) which create the movement, pressures, and function of the mouth.

When the jaw is misaligned, both the hard and soft tissues are affected and many physiological problems can result, such as headaches, jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain,tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint. In a number of cases, these symptoms are the result of TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) or MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction).

Read more about the TMJ treatment at Albany Dental here.

What is neuromuscular dentistry?

Neuromuscular dentistry is an advanced type of dental treatment that considers the nerves, muscles and positioning of your jaw. It works on finding the accurate placement for the jaw to alleviate symptoms associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder – also known as TMJ or TMD. TMD is one of the most common and painful disorders surrounding the jaw joint.

A misaligned jaw can lead to many discomforts and health concerns, including the following:

  • Result in damaged teeth
  • Affect the sufferer’s facial muscular structure
  • Hamper routine mouth functions like eating, swallowing, laughing, talking and yawning
  • Adversely alter the patient’s smile and overall facial appearance

Neuromuscular dentists make use of sophisticated equipment, laser instruments and computers to test, measure and treat your jaw movements, in order to give you a natural jaw position and bite.

If you are experiencing issues like jaw pains and headaches, we can also help to assess whether they are TMJ symptoms, and where necessary, provide suitable treatment options.

Do you have headaches, shoulder or neck pains that won’t go away?

The way our jaw joint operates determines the way we close our mouth and whether our teeth are properly aligned when they come together. This jaw and teeth relationship is what dentists refer to as our bite.

When our jaws are not in correct alignment, the related muscles can become strained over time. Having a poor bite can cause muscle tension resulting in teeth clenching or grinding, which occurs sub-consciously when the person is sleeping. This perpetual state of tension in our jaw muscles can lead to swelling and inflammation in the jaw joints and put considerable strain on the nerves. When the nerves are being compressed, we feel this as pain around the neck, shoulder or temple area. That’s because there are several large nerves with multiple branches running through the face, shoulder and neck regions.

TMJ-induced headaches and pains have often been wrongly diagnosed as migraines and other ailments. If you have seen many doctors with these symptoms without much improvement, your symptoms may be caused by the TMJ disorder. You would need to see a neuromuscular dentist who is trained to treat your jaw joint, in relation to its muscles, ligaments and nerves.

Unlike traditional dentistry, relatively few dentists are trained in neuromuscular dentistry. At Albany Dental, our dentists offer advanced technology in TMJ prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Utilising modern tools, we are able to precisely determine your correct jaw positioning to address both the functional and aesthetic issues of the disorder. Only when your jaws and teeth work properly can your muscles finally relax. Only then will you find relief from pain and regain your natural mouth functions.

Causes and Symptoms

You may develop TMJ due to the following reasons:

  • Inherited structural or positional flaw in the jaws
  • External impact – like a blow to the head that jolts the joint out of position
  • Misalignment of teeth – also known as dental malocclusion
  • Prolonged teeth grinding and clenching – that exerts pressure on the joint area and wears down the cartilage pad

Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Severe headaches
  • Worn down teeth
  • Tingling sensation in fingers
  • Locked jaw
  • Ear aches
  • Swelling or tenderness around jaw joint
  • Pain in the jaw joints, neck or shoulder areas
  • Ringing in the ears

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Albany Dental for a consultation today at (07) 3264 9590.

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