What is neuromuscular dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on your bite and its relationship to the position of your jaw. A healthy bite is characterized by a smooth, working relationship between your jaw joint (TMJ), jaw muscles and teeth.
If any component of this relationship is off, your bite can become misaligned (malocclusion). This causes your jaw to work overtime as it tries to align your teeth when you bite, which prohibits your muscles from fully relaxing. This tension can lead to a number of painful symptoms from headaches to jaw popping to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
How can I tell if my bite is misaligned?
Our dentist will perform diagnostics to measure and record your jaw movement, bone structure and bite pattern. Symptoms of a misaligned bite that you may notice on your own include:
- Crowed, sensitive or loose teeth
- Neck, facial or shoulder pain
- Jaw popping, clicking or “lockjaw”
- Headaches and migraines
- Dizziness or ringing in your ears
- Damaged fillings
- Teeth grinding
- Tingling or pain shooting down your arm
- Receding gums
How can my misaligned bite be treated?
Neuromuscular dentistry aims to correct your bite, realign your jaw, and alleviate pain. Once your jaw’s ideal resting position is determined, those measurements are used to create a dental appliance. This may be a custom-designed mouth guard that you wear at night, invisible orthodontics that you wear during the day, or a combination of both. In severe cases, oral surgery may be recommended to reshape your jaw. However, most people find that their jaw can be retrained through different bite positioners without the need for surgery.
Who suffers from neuromuscular problems?
Anyone can suffer from a misaligned bite. Sometimes it is genetically inherited, and other times the overcrowding of your teeth can cause your jaw to shift. Trauma or some kind of accident or a prolonged habit of teeth grinding can also cause your jaw joint to become misaligned.
If you are looking for a dentist with experience in neuromuscular dentistry principles, please call Aesthetic Dental Studio at 403-543-4600 or contact our office in Calgary online to arrange a free consultation with Dr. Chee.