Temporomandibular joint disease (also known as TMJ) affects 75 million people at any one time. It is a chronic degenerative disease that may take years to develop. People who suffer from TMJ have a structural imbalance in their jaw-to-skull relationship, caused by a bad bite. This disease causes:
- excessive pressure to be placed on the temporomandibular joint and surrounding tissues, altering their ideal position.
- the jaw to twist into a strained position affecting the muscles in the face, back, neck and shoulders.
Signs and Symptoms
You may be a candidate for neuromuscular dentistry if you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis:
- Headaches or migraines
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Worn, chipped or cracked teeth
- Cracked, chipped or broken dental restorations
- Pain or soreness around the jaw joints
- Pain in teeth that seems to move around
- Neck, shoulder or back pain
- Facial pain
- Clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joints
- Limited movement or locking jaw
- Numbness in your fingers and arms
- Congestion or stuffiness of the ears
- Ringing in ears
- Loss of balance
- Loss of hearing
Neuromuscular Dentistry is the science that not only uses the teeth, but also uses the muscles and the joints to find a balanced jaw position. This physiological position helps us achieve optimal results when treating TMJ and its accompanying symptoms; such as, muscle pain, headaches and migraines.
Following a comprehensive examination, Dr. Berard may diagnose malocclusion and recommend a treatment plan that will correct your bite and alleviate pain and discomfort. We use the Myotronics K7 computer system in the diagnosis of TMJ, and the J5 tensing unit, an electrical muscle stimulator to help find the most relaxed state. Learn more about electric muscle stimulation by visiting Myotronics.
Initially, we may construct an orthotic for you to wear. This is a removable oral appliance that places your jaw in its most comfortable position. This may be all that is necessary. Or, if we want to permanently change your bite, to its most comfortable position, we can do that with braces or by restoring all the teeth in porcelain.