The way that your upper and lower teeth come together (your bite or occlusion) is part of a system of teeth, muscles and joints. If your teeth do not fit together properly (misaligned bite), the muscles and joints accommodate – work to get them together. A misaligned bite often leads to muscles that are overworked when they should be relaxed, leading to various painful conditions. Neuromuscular dentistry considers the entire system that controls positioning and function of your jaw. The neuromuscular dentist seeks to establish a new position based on a harmonious relationship of the three main factors affecting occlusion – the teeth, muscles and jaw joints. The resulting jaw position is called the neuromuscular bite or physiologic bite.
Causes of TMJ/ TMD 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).
Treatment Neuromuscular Dentistry serves to correct the bite and realign the jaw. First we determine the optimal position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, and then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements. Malocclusion is relatively easy to correct. Treatment options include adjusting the bite, orthotics, orthodontics, or restoring the teeth to their correct positions. Benefits Patients of neuromuscular dentistry experience a range of benefits from decreased or eliminated pain and discomfort to better overall health and longer-lasting dental restorations.
There are always options for you to choose from when deciding on dental treatment. After an initial evaluation, your dentist or treatment counselor will discuss these options for you. If you are considering major dental procedures such as reconstruction (including cosmetic dentistry), orthodontics, dentures, or if you suffer from TMJ/TMD symptoms, establishing a precise occlusion becomes very important. This is when choosing neuromuscular diagnostic techniques can have a positive and long-term impact on the outcome of treatment. Neuromuscular studies give your dentist added insight into what is going on behind just the appearance of your smile, addressing issues that affect your overall health and well being. Is NMD for You? Your dentist cna answer your questions and provide your with additional literature that can give you more in-depth knowledge of Neuromuscular Dentistry and your treatment options.