The most common health complaint these days? Pain. And in many cases, chronic pain can be traced to oral conditions. That’s where neuromuscular dentistry (NMD) steps in.
NMD looks at how occlusion – how your teeth come together – may be affecting the function of related structures. Often, it focuses on dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the hinges on which your jaw opens and closes.
A bite that’s “off” can do more than create stresses that lead to jaw, face, head and neck pain. It may contribute to sleep apnea or other breathing problems. It can alter the posture in ways that contribute to back pain and other systemic health issues.
Diagnosing TMJ Disorders (TMD) with JVA
Traditionally, problems with the TMJ are diagnosed through examining the outside of the jaw, sometimes accompanied by a CT scan or other imaging. But here in our Edmonds office, we have an excellent tool for detecting TMD, sometimes even before you notice any symptoms yourself. It’s called Joint Vibrational Analysis, or JVA for short.
Simply, if your bite is off, even slightly, there will be friction. Where’s there’s friction, there’s vibration.
By placing sensors on your TM joints, then having you open and close your mouth, we can objectively measure joint vibrations to screen for TMD. Take a look:
Once we’ve pinpointed the problem, we can provide you with a custom solution to address the root cause and bring you relief.
Learn more about JVA and the research supporting it.
Finding Just the Right Treatment for You
While a physician might just write a prescription for pain meds and be done with the issue, we have a wide variety of non-drug dental solutions that may provide longer term relief from pain originating from dental conditions. These include a wide array of removable orthotics and splints, as well as orthodontics. The specific device or treatment recommended depends on the particular type of dysfunction or imbalance that needs to be corrected.
Read our FAQ: All About Orthotics for TMJ/TMD
One of the newest and most exciting options we offer is DNA appliance therapy. Based on the concepts of Pneumopedics® and Craniofacial Epigenetics, the DNA appliance allows the body to reposition the mandible while gently redeveloping the midface and remodeling the upper airway, while correcting the positions of the teeth into a more natural position. With the jaw and facial structures in a more optimal position, pain of dental origin can become a thing of the past.
To find out whether neuromuscular dentistry might provide some answers and help for your ongoing pain, contact our office today.