Neuromuscular Dentistry Bismarck, Garrison – North Dakota
Many patients who complain of having jaw pain or difficulty chewing are unaware that a branch of dentistry called neuromuscular dentistry diagnoses and treats these symptoms. At Deeter Dental, our dentists have focused on neuromuscular dentistry in order to help you find relief from pain you may have due to this condition.
What is Neuromuscular (Physiologic) Dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentistry (physiologic dentistry) is the science of aligning the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw while creating a balanced and relaxed musculature of the head and neck in the process, without any surgery! It specifically deals with the alignment of the jaw joint and how it interacts with the jaw and teeth as well as other parts of the head and neck. Neuromuscular dentists understand that repositioning the TMJ into correct alignment is the only solution for TMD.
What is TMJ/TMD?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and it is the ball-in-socket joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. The TMJ is a complex system of bones, muscles, and tendons which controls not only how you open and close your mouth, but how you chew and speak. It may even affect your ear canals, shoulders and back. At Deeter Dental, part of caring for your whole mouth’s health includes recognizing TMJ disorders and treating them.
TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is the misalignment of your jaw joint which can create problems with your bite and cause serious, debilitating pain. Because a misaligned jaw joint can cause severe and unnecessary damage to your teeth, it is important to undergo treatment for this serious condition. Many patients seek help from their general practitioners, chiropractors, and even neurologists, never realizing that the source of their discomfort is, in fact, their jaw joint. TMD is a fairly common problem that affects millions of people all over the world. TMD may be caused by genetics or by trauma to the jaw.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
You may be suffering from a misaligned TMJ if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sore jaw or teeth
- Grinding teeth
- Unexplained headaches
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Ringing in ears
- Dizziness or vision problems
- Popping, clicking or grinding sounds in the jaw
- Jaw stiffness or immobility
While these symptoms are not always indicators of TMD, they are frequently found in patients suffering from TMD. Many patients find that their symptoms are alleviated almost immediately once they have begun treatment.
The treatment of TMD may vary somewhat from patient to patient. This depends on the severity of the misalignment and on the symptoms you exhibit. Treatment often includes the use of a TENS unit, a machine which sends low-impulse electric waves to the muscles in the jaw joint, allowing them to relax into a more natural position. The impulses feel similar to a massage, and most patients feel calm and relaxed by their TENS unit treatment.
Once your jaw is relaxed into its natural state, our Bismarck neuromuscular dentists can create a treatment plan to allow your jaw to stay in its more natural position. This may include building up tooth material which has been lost through grinding teeth, or it may require the use of a custom mouth guard to be worn at night.
Physiologic Dentistry For Headaches
You may still wonder how physiologic dentistry can resolve your headache pain without medications. The secret is understanding that nothing in your body is separate. Your jaw muscles are the largest muscles in your head. When they’re not functioning properly everything in your neck and head can be thrown off balance. You can experience tension headaches, sore neck, and upper back pain for starters.
The nerve that commands your muscles is the trigeminal nerve, which is cranial nerve 5. This one single nerve commands 60% of all the input and output of the 12 cranial nerves. Most migraines and headaches are related to the muscles controlled by the trigeminal nerve. Some doctors want to treat this by cutting away these muscles or using drugs to relax them, but physiologic dentistry has a better solution. By helping your jaw find a tension-free position, we can reduce your headaches and migraines without drugs.
Schedule a Consultation
If you suffer from the symptoms of TMD, please contact our Bismarck neuromuscular dentists today to schedule an appointment. Call our Bismarck office at 701.222.1800 or our Garrison office at 701.463.2884. We welcome patients from Bismarck, North Dakota and surrounding areas.