Two out of every 10 Americans suffer from chronic headaches. However research has shown that some headaches are caused by a bad bite or jaw misalignment. Advanced Neuromuscular Dentistry has linked bad bite to jaw-to-skull misalignment. This can cause Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
What is TMJ/TMD?
While the exact cause of TMJ/TMD is unknown, contributing factors are an improper bite, injury, arthritis, severe stress, or a combination of factors. TMJ symptoms often seem unrelated to bite and may include
Headaches or migraines
Stiffness or soreness in the neck, shoulders and back
Tingling of the fingertips
Clenching or grinding
Ringing in the ears
Limited mouth opening
Worn or loose teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to a dentist with specific training in advanced neuromuscular dentistry because TMJ/TMD treatments may provide immediate, long-term relief.
Traditional dentistry assumes that your natural bite is the correct bite position. However this is not always accurate. Many factors can influence the alignment of your bite. Bad bite can place stress on your jaw, causing head and neck pain. For example, if you are unable to breathe through your nose and breathe mostly through your mouth, your tongue which is a powerful muscle will place considerable force on your teeth and affect your bite.
Neuromuscular dentistry considers all structures that shape your bite your teeth, muscles and jaw joints. Using specific techniques the jaw can be returned to its ideal position ultimately relieving symptoms of TMJ/TMD.
Assessing and Treating Your Bite
Neuromuscular dentistry treats the causes and the symptoms in a non-invasive way without the use of medications or surgery. The goal is to eliminate pain caused by overworked muscles, allowing a stable bite. When muscles are relaxed, TMJ/TMD pain disappears.
Jaw Alignment Can Offer Relief
A series of simple scans of your jaw can determine how well your muscles are functioning and muscles and bone structure are examined your doctor will relax the fatigued muscles with a Transcutaneous Electro Neural Stimulation (TENS) device. When your muscles are relaxed, optimal position of the jaw can be determined. Next, an orthotic will be created for your jaw. This device places the jaw in its proper position and helps the jaw achieve the ideal resting position. For many patients, symptoms are often relieved immediately when the bite is stabilized. Neuromuscular dentistry can permanently adjust your bite to the correct position.
So, before you reach for that pain medication think what it would be like to be pain free. Call a neuromuscular dentist for a comprehensive exam. Find out about improving the quality of your life and living without pain.