When a person suffers from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, most orthodontists and dentists would first try to treat the patient using conservative methods like low-level laser therapy or with medications and injections or self-care remedies that are as simple as applying moist heat or cold packs or wearing a splint or mouth guard. If any combination of these things does not help solve the problem, surgery may yet be the final solution, but most patients are expected to have apprehensions about undergoing the invasive procedure.
Thanks to neuromuscular dentistry, there is now an alternative treatment for TMJ disorder besides such conservative methods and surgery. Neuromuscular dentistry is a new treatment philosophy which seeks to relieve the patient of his/her TMJ disorder symptoms and correct the jaw misalignment by determining the physiological rest position of the jaw before proceeding with extensive restorative dental work or orthodontics to keep that position.
Neuromuscular dentistry makes use of the latest technological tools and techniques to establish the rest position like sonography, where ultrasound is used to identify the physiologic jaw position by measuring the vibrations from the joint when the mouth is moved. Meanwhile, under kinesiography, a magnet attached to the lower front teeth and a headset records and analyzes the jaw movements three-dimensionally.
The same principle is applied under electromyography (EMG), where surface electrodes are placed over the jaw muscles and the electrical impulses are recorded by another device to measure the amount of activity in the jaw muscles. In the same manner, ultra-low frequency electrical stimulation is delivered to the nerves of the jaw muscles under the TENS therapy (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to relieve muscle spasms and pain.
If you would like to try neuromuscular dentistry as an alternative treatment for your TMJ disorder, visit Dr. David A. Smith of Really Smile Dentistry. Dr. Smith is one of only a few dentists who practices neuromuscular dentistry at his Carmel, IN dental clinic, besides being the Indiana top cosmetic dentist. Call 317-597-8748 for an initial consultation.