Healthy smiles begin with a comfortable bite. Malocclusion, the medical term for a misaligned bite, can cause a host of dental problems as well as other health issues, such as migraines. As a group, these bite-related problems are known as temporomandibular joint disorder (abbreviated as TMJ or TMD).
Why a Healthy Bite Is Important
If your lower jaw is moving incorrectly each time you chew, speak, laugh or yawn, the jaw muscles become stressed. Inflammation will set in and you will feel pain wherever nerves are being compressed. Further, your teeth will be meeting incorrectly, causing premature wear and tear.
Neuromuscular dentistry seeks to restore a healthy bite by restoring the jaw to its correct position. It takes into account the entire structure of the mouth:
- Jaw joints
- Structures related to the jaw (muscles, nerves, and blood vessels)
This dental discipline measures the relaxed position of head and neck muscles, then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements, thereby alleviating the issues caused by the misaligned bite.
TMD Diagnosis Overview
The goal of TMD diagnosis is to establish and record your relaxed jaw position. This then becomes of goal of treatment – to make it permanent.
Diagnosis begins with a thorough dental examination of your bite, teeth, and gums. Photos and X-rays are taken and measurements made and recorded.
The Myotronics K7 Evaluation System
The K7 Evaluation System allows our team to measure, display and store objective data regarding the status and function of your jaw. It records the jaw joint sounds, measures jaw muscle movement, and measures jaw muscle electrical activity.
Two printouts give all this information – one for the dentist and a more understandable one for the patient.
The TENS Unit
The TENS unit is an ultra-low-frequency, battery-operated, muscle stimulation device. It delivers safe, mild electrical stimulus to the muscles, causing them to contract and relax.
After a 30 or 40 minute session you will be free of the pain of malocclusion and your jaw will be relaxed. This gives the starting point for TMD treatment, which has the goal of making your jaw permanently relaxed.
If you believe you may be experiencing TMD symptoms, time is of the essence. Please schedule your private consultation with Exceptional Dentistry in Dubuque, Iowa today by calling 563-556-2711 or completing the form on this page. Also serving Davenport, Cedar Rapids and Galena, Illinois.