Neuromuscular Dentistry: Treating TMD/TMJ

Most people call this problem TMJ. Dentist have renamed it TMD to correct an old idea that it was only the joint (the TMJ) that caused the pain. We now realize that the condition involves not only the TMJ joint but also the facial muscles, nerves, teeth, neck and ears. So it was renamed TMD which stands for Temporomandibular Disorder Syndrome.

If you have TMD the pain can be in your jaws, face, ears, jaw joint, neck, teeth or all of the above. Some of the other symptoms can be: clicking and jaw popping, ringing in the ears, congestion in the ears.

There are two schools of thought to treat this painful condition.

  1. Some dentists believe this a psychological condition that is self induced caused by stress and feel no or little treatment is necessary. This group usually prescribe medication and allow the patient to get through the crisis.
  2. Another group believes the root cause of this problem is a bite that is out of alignment . The muscles and nerves of the head and neck get over worked trying to correct the misalignment by Grinding and gnashing the teeth. This is what causes the pain. If we can relax the muscles by correcting the bite misalignment the pain goes away.

This group of dentists call this treatment philosophy - NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY. I am in this group. I have tried the wait and let it get better on its own philosophy and found it comes back much too often and I my patients did not like effects of the pain pills that had to re prescribed each time the pain occured.

Neuromuscular dentistry has been used for over 40 years and in some countries like Japan and Italy it is the standard of care. It is not that complicated and basically we use some advanced instruments to read muscle tension get your teeth to come together so the muscles are relaxed. Once the muscles are relaxed the pain goes away. NO Drugs. I have found this Neuromuscular treatment method to help my patients with great success.

In Simple terms:
TMJ or TMD is a pain condition simular to when you get a "Charlie Horse" in your leg (a painful muscle spam).
Except the muscles are in your head and neck and so is the pain.
You can use drugs to mask the pain and hope it goes away, OR, You can relax the muscles using Neuromuscular techniques and the pain will subside.

 

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