Neuromuscular dentistry is not about any individual services. It’s a philosophy embraced at James Block Dentistry for the treatment and prevention of numerous bite alignment concerns. The word dentist comes from the Latin word “dens” meaning tooth, but dentists study so much more than just teeth. Smiles are affected by the position of the jaw, the amount and distribution of gum tissue, fluidity of joint and muscle motion, bone density, and more. Every individual face is an intricately connected machine, and neuromuscular dentistry considers how every part of the face affects teeth and vice versa. At our Fremont dental practice, we consider neuromuscular dentistry to be a significant part of the foundation for all dental care, but it is used specifically in the treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and face-lift denture creation.
Neuromuscular Therapy for TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder, sometimes referred to simply as TMD, causes a variety of painful symptoms including stiff, sore, painful, or bruised jaw, inability to fully open or close the mouth, ear aches, headaches, neck pain, clicking or popping noises, and more. TMJ, temporomandibular joints, are the small bits of connective tissue that keep the jawbone moving smoothly where it connects with the skull. TMD can occur as a result of injury, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), excessive strain, stress, and bite misalignment.
In many cases, treatment for TMJ/TMD sets out simply to set the jaw in a more comfortable position or just relieve pain. Using the principles of neuromuscular dentistry, TMD treatment begins with determining what the ideal position of the jaw actually is. Each TMD treatment plan is developed to shift patients jaw from the current position to the ideal resting position and keep it there. Treatment plans may include orthodontic care, dental appliance treatment, physical therapy, medication, and other techniques. Every patient receives a unique TMJ therapy plan that gently adjusts the jaw to ideal alignment relieving pressure from the joints.
Much like neuromuscular treatment for TMD, neuromuscular dentures are crafted based on patients’ unique facial structure. Rather than creating a denture that fits or looks okay, neuromuscular dentures are created to work with existing bone, gum tissue, facial joints and muscles to retain face shape avoiding the wrinkling and sagging associated with traditional dentures. When being fitted for neuromuscular dentures, dentists take impressions, digital images, and x-rays of patients’ smiles in motion, so the dentures fit naturally and work well for chewing, yawning, speaking, and smiling. Unlike other dentures that can place uneven pressure on gums leading to tissue loss and changing facial shape, neuromuscular dentures work with facial muscles and evenly distribute pressure on gums significantly decreasing the rate of tissue resorption.
Find Out More
Interested in finding out more about innovative neuromuscular dentistry at James Block Dentistry? Don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Fremont dental team. We’re happy to answer questions, or schedule a neuromuscular treatment consultation with Dr. James Block.