Why see a Neuromuscular Dentist
Serving Choto, Northshore, and surrounding areas of Knoxville, TN
Neuromuscular dentistry may be a new term for you. It means finding the optimal alignment between the upper and lower jaw. A neuromuscular dentist in Knoxville determines the optimal alignment for your bite, which can relieve temporomandibular joint disorder, a disorder that causes dysfunction of the jaw joints.
Neuromuscular dentistry and TMJ pain?
Temporomandibular joint disorder affects millions of Americans. Often times people are unaware that they even suffer from this condition. You could be experiencing chronic pain that is related to your bite alignment. Here is how to tell.
Have you experienced any of these problems?
- Ringing in the ears
- Migraine headaches, or headaches of migraine-like intensity, that do not respond well to normal means of migraine treatment
- Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw
- Pain that radiates to your neck or back
- Discomfort or pain while chewing or eating
- Lockjaw, preventing you from opening or closing your mouth
- Pain in your jaw joints
- Sore teeth
- Damaged teeth
Any one or a combination of these symptoms could indicate that you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder commonly referred to as TMD or TMJ for short. If you do experience any of these symptoms, a TMD evaluation by your neuromuscular dentist in Choto should occur. Many primary care physicians misdiagnose chronic pain and end up masking your pain by prescribing medication. But, ever noticed how this does nothing to stop the frequency of your pain? That is because the underlying problem, an uneven bite, is not being treated. Only a neuromuscular dentist with extensive experience and training can diagnose and treat TMD.
What is neuromuscular dentistry and why is it important?
Not all dentists in Knoxville can treat ailments such as TMD by using neuromuscular dentistry. At Choto Family Dentistry, we possess the knowledge and technology to find your optimal bite and design a specially made oral appliance that can help slightly reposition your lower jaw to provide you with relief.
The purpose of the oral appliance is to determine the most comfortable alignment between your upper and lower jaws. Then, we can determine if any other treatments are needed for a long-term solution. In some cases, dental restorations are used to help restore the bite, in other cases orthodontics, a dental implant (to replace missing teeth), or even surgery is in order.
Treating each case of TMD is different. But, the first goal as a neuromuscular dentist is to find that perfect alignment to get you out of pain! Then, we can devise a treatment plan to permanently correct your bite issue.
Why should I see a neuromuscular dentist?
Ignoring your TMD symptoms will only exacerbate the problem. Our bodies are kind of like cars; you would not continue driving your car if you knew it was in need of an alignment. If you did, you understand that misaligned wheels will eventually end up causing you more trouble and money in costly repairs than fixing the alignment issue in the first place. The same is true for our bodies!
Why does pain occur?
The most common symptom of TMD is pain. This is due in part to the proximity of the trigeminal nerve, which runs from the lower jaw, to the jaw joints, and into the skull and eventually connects to the spinal cord. This nerve has an intimate relationship between the lower jaw, its joints and the brain. It also carries more sensory output than any other neural pathway in the body! It is no wonder that a slight imbalance in the lower jaw can cause such horrific, chronic pain. As this nerve becomes irritated and inflamed, the muscles and ligaments of the jaw and face become strained as well. Eventually, headaches begin, and pain can radiate to the neck and back. If you go to a regular doctor complaining of chronic pain, they will probably put you on pain medication. While this medication certainly does curb your pain, it does nothing for the underlying issue.
If you are experiencing headaches, click here to learn more about the difference between TMJ headaches and migraines.
Another consequence of TMD is the loss of function such as lock jaw, or limited mobility of the jaw. This may affect you when eating, chewing, or even speaking. The muscles of the jaw, when affected by TMD, can become so strained that it causes discomfort or pain even when your mouth is at rest.
The results of TMD are so far-reaching. Click here for a more comprehensive list of TMD symptoms.
Neuromuscular dentistry can help put an end to this pain. It is time to reclaim your life!
Neuromuscular Dentistry in Knoxville
If you would like to learn more about how the neuromuscular dentists at Choto Family Dentistry can help relieve your TMD and its symptoms, contact our office today by calling (865) 409-5077 to schedule your consultation.
We welcome patients of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the communities of Choto and Northshore.