What is TMD and What Are the Symptoms?
According to the American Dental Association, 10.8 million Americans suffer from temporomandibular disorder syndrome (TMD). The condition is caused by an improperly aligned jaw, which contributes to a myriad of problems including:
- Sore neck muscles
- Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears)
- Worn, chipped teeth
- Facial pain
- Sore jaw joints
- Numbness of the fingertips
What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentistry is a branch of dentistry that considers the physiologic aspects of head and neck symptoms. Neuromuscular dentistry seeks to cure TMD by retraining the muscles, tissues, and nerves to properly align the jaw at rest. If left untreated, the jaw must work harder to perform basic functions, such as chewing or speaking and in turn may repeatedly injure the surrounding muscles.
At Hiebert Smith Dental Group we use state of the art diagnostic instruments, including a specially tuned TENS unit and EMG. With sophisticated computer analysis we are able to quantify your optimal jaw and bite position and thus find balance between facial muscles and joints. Bite evaluation and analysis is comfortable and pain-free, resulting in precise diagnoses.
After examination and analysis of the pain patterns, we will usually recommend making a neuromuscular oral orthotic, fabricated to your “relaxed muscle position bite”. A majority of headache patients experience a decrease in headache frequency and intensity within several weeks of first wearing the orthotic. The entire process is 100% non-invasive and very relaxing.
Long Term Pain-Free Cosmetics
A neuromuscular dentist first looks at jaw and muscle management, before launching into cosmetic treatments. Clicking jaw joints, morning headaches, migraines, and sleep problems need to be addressed before launching into cosmetic makeovers. Depending on the long-term results of this reversible initial therapy stage, long-term treatment plans can be made for prolonged appliance wear, orthodontics, or bite reconstruction.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms, call (503) 397-6144 to schedule a consultation at Hiebert Smith Dental Group in St. Helens, OR.