San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Have you experienced any of these problems?
- Ringing in the ears
- Migraine headaches, or headaches of migraine-like intensity, that do not respond well to normal means of migraine treatment
- Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw
- Seemingly mysterious neck or back pain
- Pain while chewing or eating
- Lockjaw, preventing you from opening or closing your mouth
- Pain in your jaw joints
If you are currently suffering from any of these issues, then you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, an ailment that occurs when the temporomandibular joint—which connects the jaw to the skull—enters a state of dysfunction. Known as TMJ for short, this ailment requires specialized care. And the best-qualified medical professional to provide proper diagnosis and treatment of a case of TMJ is a neuromuscular dentist.
This page contains background information on TMJ, its effects, and the principles of neuromuscular dentistry. If you want to be evaluated by a neuromuscular dentist, call the office of Glen Park Dental today at (415) 585-1500.
What is neuromuscular dentistry?
Not every dentist is qualified to treat a case of TMJ. Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialty of dental science that focuses on finding or restoring the ideal alignment of your bite and jaw.
Glen Park Dental is proud to have several practitioners of neuromuscular dentistry on staff, all of whom received training in the field at the Las Vegas Institute, which is considered the pre-eminent institution for post-graduate dental study. There, dentists complete coursework and study that goes far beyond what is taught in normal dental school.
What is neuromuscular dentistry and why is it important?
A neuromuscular dentist performs diagnostic tests to determine the proper physiological position of the jaw, and then uses treatments to re-position the jaw to obtain the ideal alignment of the bite.
Bringing the teeth, jaw joints, and muscles back into harmony can alleviate a case of TMJ and any subsequent symptoms of the disorder, including the ones listed at the top of this page.
Neuromuscular dentists also are trained in the techniques of standard general dentistry but can treat the entire system of hard and soft tissues in the mouth—including the temporomandibular joint and the jawbone.
One of the first tasks of a neuromuscular dentist is to find the ideal position of your jaw from a neuromuscular perspective. Our neuromuscular dentists can determine the proper form and function of your entire mouth by evaluating the alignment of the bite, the muscles of the jaw, and the supporting hard and soft tissue structures.
Why should I see a neuromuscular dentist?
TMJ is a potentially serious condition that can wreak havoc on your ability to function on a daily basis or cause serious oral health problems, including:
- Pain in your jaws
- Pain while chewing
- Difficulty opening or closing mouth
- Damage to teeth
- Tooth loss
- Numbness in the extremities
- Chronic headaches
- And more!
The most common symptom of a case of TMJ, however, is pain. This pain often is significant, chronic, and severe enough to impede the ability to function on a daily basis.
Why does pain occur?
One of the immediate consequences of a case of TMJ is an effect on the muscles of the jaw and, with it, the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. One of the nerves that are frequently impacted by a patient suffering from TMJ is the trigeminal nerve. This nerve carries more sensory input to the brain than any neural pathway, including the spinal cord. The trigeminal nerve also is aggravated in many cases of migraine headaches, which is why TMJ patients often complain of headaches of migraine-like intensity or, prior to diagnosis, complain of headaches that they think are migraines but do not respond to traditional treatment methods for migraine relief.
Click here to learn more about the difference between TMJ headaches and migraines.
Another consequence of an untreated or advanced case of TMJ is the loss of function in the jaw. This loss of functionality can range from mild stiffness in the jaw to barely being able to open the jaw at all. TMJ often affects the range of motion in the jaw, also causing wear and undue damage to the teeth. A case of TMJ only continues to cause dysfunction in the body; over time, it can cause chronic pain throughout the body.
Click here for a more comprehensive list of the symptoms of TMJ.
Our team of neuromuscular dentists has the necessary experience and training to provide lasting relief to patients who may have been suffering from TMJ and its effects for decades. You do not have to live with TMJ, or the effects it has on your body, any longer. If you think you have TMJ or you have been diagnosed with the disorder by another medical professional, then Glen Park Dental can help. The next step is to contact our office located in beautiful San Francisco by calling (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation today.
Glen Park Dental is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.