Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
Neuromuscular Dentistry involves the function of the muscles that control chewing, swallowing, and active/resting jaw positions. Neuromuscular Dentistry is most often used to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with TMJ and TMD.
The lower (mandible) is attached to your skull by tempomandibular joints and muscles. If your jaw is not positioned properly, it is strained every time you speak, chew, swallow, yawn or even while you rest. It is estimated that over 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ(Tempomandibular Joint Syndrome)
Neuromuscular dentistry is used to prevent, diagnose, and treat TMD/TMJ. Those who suffer from TMD/TMJ often have life-long pain, and their condition is typically misdiagnosed and therefore goes untreated. In addition to chronic pain and discomfort, over time, TMJ can cause other dental problems, including damage due to grinding teeth. TMD/TMJ symptoms include:
- Migraines or headaches
- Tooth grinding
- Jaw pain
- Clicking or popping jaw
- Jaw gets stuck or locks
- Facial pain
- Shoulder, neck, or back pain
- Numbness in arms and fingers
- Ringing ears (tinnitus)
- Congested ears
TMJ is individually tested and treated. As a trained neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Remmenga will run detailed tests that are non-invasive and painless.
- Evaluating the bite alignment and nerve and muscle activity
- Relaxing the muscles to relieve the pain
- Jaw tracking with computerized equipment
- Correcting the misalignment
- Making the correction permanent
- Neuromuscular Orthodontics
Modern technology allows us to precisely track the movements of your jaw, and determine the proper alignment. We use transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS) to relax the muscles, stop spasms, and relieve the pain. TMD/TMJ is a painful and sometimes debilitating problem. Since the symptoms do not appear to be dental problems, the condition often goes undiagnosed, leading to a lifetime of pain, and years of failed treatments for non-existent conditions. TMD/TMJ is commonly misdiagnosed as migraines sending patients in a fruitless search for a migraine or headache cure.
In contrast to traditional dentistry, which focuses only on the teeth and joints, neuromuscular dentistry addresses the entire system of the jaw, its alignment, and how it works together. The nerves and muscles of the jaw are important parts of this equation.
Neuromuscular dentistry can do more than just correcting TMJ. It can be used in dental solutions, such as dentures and partials, to achieve a truly proper fit and prevent TMD/TMJ from developing. Traditional methods typically rely on impressions alone, creating a good but not perfect fit, and entirely overlook the alignment of the jaw. This can create a situation where the teeth do not line up perfectly and as the muscles try to compensate, TMD/TMJ slowly develops.
If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms and would like talk with Dr. Jerry Remmenga please call for a consultation appointment (308)324-6165.