Neuromuscular Dentistry

Teeth clenching and grinding, a condition called bruxism, often occurs during sleep and can significantly damage teeth, gums and jaw joints, called temporomandibular joints.  It can cause a problem called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

What Can Cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Temporomandibular joint disorder can be caused by a poor bite, where your teeth are incorrectly aligned. It may also be due to stress that makes you clench and grind your teeth.

Signs of TMJ disorder include:

  • 🦷 Visibly worn, cracked or chipped teeth
  • 🦷 Increased tooth sensitivity
  • 🦷 Gum recession
  • 🦷 Misaligned teeth where they do not bite or occlude together properly
  • 🦷 Waking up with an aching or tender jaw
  • 🦷 Waking up with a chronic headache
  • 🦷 Waking up with neck, shoulder or back pain, earache, or tinnitus
  • 🦷 Having trouble opening or closing your jaw comfortably
  • 🦷 Noticing your jaw makes a clicking or popping sound as you move it

If these symptoms sound familiar, make an appointment to come and see our dentist at Shire Dental. We can gently examine your teeth and jaw joints and may take diagnostic x-rays to assess the condition of your jaw joints more closely. If we do diagnose TMJ disorder, we may recommend neuromuscular dentistry.

Dentures Miranda

What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Neuromuscular dentistry is used to identify and correct problems with misaligned jaws and teeth, helping to ensure your jaw joints, teeth, and facial muscles work harmoniously. It uses procedures to improve your bite and restore your jaw to its proper position so your muscles, facial tissues and nerves can work properly.

By examining your jaws and facial muscles, we can identify jaw misalignments and create a custom treatment plan to improve function by combining one or more restorative procedures.

Which Type of Procedures Are Used in Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry ensures that your teeth fit or occlude together properly, protecting and supporting your jaw joints. Dental procedures like crowns and fillings are sometimes used to restore occlusion, especially when teeth are damaged due to clenching and grinding. Other options may include orthodontics, where we can realign your teeth, ensuring they bite together optimally. Dental implants can restore any missing teeth while helping to protect your existing teeth. Orthotic devices can hold your jaw in the correct position. A custom-made night guard can protect teeth against bruxism, so you grind harmlessly against the nightguard.

You may find it helpful to try to reduce stress levels. It can also be useful to avoid eating very hard or sticky foods and avoid chewing gum. Facial massage and jaw stretching exercises can relieve painful muscles.

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