Don’t Ignore That Jaw Pain
While traditional dentistry focuses only on teeth and gums, neuromuscular dentistry focuses on the harmonious relationship of the teeth with masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joints and nerves which together form the masticatory system. Neuromuscular dentistry is a science in itself and not just a treatment. It is the science of correcting the bite and aligning the jaw to have a harmonious relationship of teeth with other part of masticatory system i.e. masticatory muscles, jaw joint and nerves and the whole body.
Misaligned jaws give rise to a plethora of physiological problems or pains. If there is any disharmony in any part of the system, all the other parts get affected. It the jaw is not aligned properly, neuromuscular dentistry can identify the problem, whether jaw joints, muscle or tooth position. A neuromuscular dentist designs a treatment plan to correct bite abnormalities and allows the jaw to go to its optimal position. This kind of dentistry deals with correcting the bite and aligning the jaw, thus relieving the symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD). When the jaw is not aligned properly, the hard and soft tissues get affected causing physiological problems like the following:
- Headache and migraines.
- Jaw pain.
- Orofacial pain.
- Neck ache.
- Shoulder pain.
- Ringing in ears.
- Tingling sensation in hands.
- Clicking sounds in jaw joints.
Neuromuscular dentists are concerned with the entire functioning of the mouth including chewing, swallowing, biting, yawning etc. And the most important determinants of a good bite ¡s timing, force and location. The only way to diagnose this problem with extreme precision is by using high end technologies like T-Scan, JVA (jaw vibrational analysis) and EMG (Electromyography).
- T- Scan
This is a diagnostic device that records a patient’s bite torce induding timing and location of torce. Unlike older methods using special papers, waxes and pastes, a T-Scan provides accurate, detailed and reliable information. It detects trouble spots where there is contact of the upper and lower teeth which may cause a toothache or headache, sensitivity of teeth, damage of dental fillings, denture rupture, implant failure, gum disease, tooth loss, or temporomandibular joint disorders.
It is a technique to measure the electrical activity of masticatory muscles. This technology can be synchronized with the T- Scan to give accurate findings and correlation of a bad bite to a sore muscle. It helps in determining the underlying cause of a muscle spasm, muscle tenderness or hyperactivity and muscle incoordination, if any.
- Jaw Vibrational Analysis (JVA)
It is a fast, non-invasive and repeated measurement of the vibrations of the temporomandibular joint and aids in diagnosing its disorders. It is based on the simple principle of motion and vibration. When smooth surfaces rub against each other, they produce a little vibration and friction. But when these surfaces become rough, they produce vibrations of different wavelengths, which help us determine various disorders of the joint.
What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
This branch of dentistry deals with not only a well-balanced bite but also with other teeth related issues like fillings for cavities, capping, smile enhancement, restoration or dental cosmetic treatments. However, before any treatment is considered or planned, the neuromuscular dentist will always ensure that ¡t will not only develop the harmony of the system but will also have a positive impact on general functioning.
Dental work pertaining to modification of the bite (crowns, inlays, cavities etc.) needs to be examined digitally to ensure that it is perfect or else, it will lead to a host of problems such as facial pain, migraine, TMJ problems and other dental problems. Thus, it is important to visit a neuromuscular dentist to address the problem at it nascent stage to curb unwanted fatigue and pain.