Dr. Benjamin Polan explains the science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry in Beverly, MA
The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry
Many people find it extremely difficult to enjoy everyday activities because of a painful condition such as a headache, earache, sore ear or an aching neck. It has been estimated that more than twenty-eight million people suffer from chronic headaches, while about forty-five million experience migraine headaches on a regular basis.
These headache sufferers and those who experience facial pain, sore jaws and even tinnitus assume that these are symptoms of some medical disorder. As a result, they often seek diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional to help them find relief from the debilitating pain. The patient or the physician may not suspect that jaw problems (TMJ) may be the underlying cause of the pain.
What do jaws problems have to do with dentistry?
TMJ is a term used to describe a disorder associated with the muscles of your temporomandibular joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. Symptoms can include:
- jaw pain
- facial pain
- worn/eroded teeth
- clicking or popping in the jaw
- numbness or tingling in the arms and hands
- neck and shoulder pain
Snoring and teeth grinding are also widespread among patients who suffer from TMJ disorder. Women tend to experience more pain from TMJ disorder, but men have more significant damage to their teeth bone and gums. The temporomandibular joint is a very complex joint, and its location is in an area of the body where many muscles, bones and nerves cross paths. A TMJ disorder is often caused by a bad bite or malocclusion.
Neuromuscular dentistry vs traditional dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry is the science of using the relaxed position of the muscles of your head and neck to put your jaw into the ideal position for comfort and function. It is also used to find the best jaw position before restorative dentistry to ensure longevity. Whereas traditional dentistry only looks at the jaw and the teeth, neuromuscular dentistry looks at the muscles that control the jaw and the nerves that control the muscles, and how this relates to the overall body.
Millions of people suffer from this chronic degenerative disorder without realizing the impact it is having on their well-being and how neuromuscular dentistry could provide the treatment they need to regain and retain good health.
Beat TMJ with technology
Neuromuscular dentistry relies on modern technology to treat TMJ more effectively.
- A Computerized Mandibular Scan can pinpoint the movements of your jaw.
- Sonography is used to detect the sounds associated with misalignments such as popping or snapping.
- Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation, or TENS, works to soothe jaw muscles and reduce pain.
- Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, and veneers, bridges and crowns repair damaged or decayed teeth, helping to restore your optimal bite position.
- Orthotics can reduce jaw pressure or mitigate teeth clenching or grinding.
- Orthodontics can realign your teeth to put your jaw back into a that is comfortable position.
Relieve TMJ pain with neuromuscular dentistry and get back to enjoying your life
Dr. Benjamin Polan is a dentist in Beverly, MA who is specially trained to thoroughly evaluate TMJ problems. Since every individual has unique needs that require different treatment approaches, every patient receives an individualized treatment plan tailored to meet those needs.
Patients who receive the proper corrective treatments benefit from improvements in chewing, breathing and possibly even speaking. Those who suffer from debilitating pain find relief once balance is restored to the mouth. TMJ treatment will help you enjoy a better quality of life and an overall enhanced appearance.