TMJ Treatment and Neuromuscular Dentistry

glen park tmj

San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

“As you know, I suffered from serious headaches most of my adult life and had become all too accustomed to one or two a week in recent years. So I hope you’ll forgive me for having been pretty skeptical the times you encouraged me to try the new orthotic you were finding so helpful to patients with similar complaints. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to admit that you were right and that I was wrong to be so slow in following your great advice. Since you fitted me for the high tech, neuromuscular orthotic in January, I have worn it every night and have now gone many months without a headache. Even if I ever begin to take this pain-free way of life for granted, I will never forget what you have done for me. Thanks so much.” – Monsignor John T.

“I have suffered from headaches practically my entire life, so when Dr. Dickerson asked me if I had headaches after seeing the wear and tear on my teeth from my clenching, I downplayed my history. She suggested an orthotic and all I heard was ‘mouth guard,’ which I had already tried before without success and with much annoyance and frustration. I was very hesitant to entertain the idea of yet another contraption for my mouth. I blamed headaches on stress, genetics . . . life. But when she said I was beginning to show gum recession (after already having an incredibly painful surgery to repair it a few years ago) and that the orthotic should help, I reluctantly listened. I decided it would be cheaper to get the orthotic than have another surgery, so I agreed to be fitted for one. I have now had the orthotic for about 7 months and I cannot recommend it enough. The headaches I thought I was ‘stuck with’ for the rest of my life are completely gone. The orthotic is so small and unobtrusive that I wear it every night, and it causes none of the discomforts of the many mouth guards I’d worn in the past. I wake up completely pain free, a new one for me; and even the headaches I would get throughout the day are gone, though I rarely wear the orthotic during the day. As I said, I was very skeptical that the orthotic would help; I am now a believer. It definitely worked for me.” – Christina L.

Symptoms of TMJ and Dental Treatment for treating jaw pain

TMD (TMJ) disorders are painful and when left untreated, will potentially be dangerous to your health. We provide TMJ relief by helping you recognize the symptoms of TMD and treating with neuromuscular dentistry. Temporal Mandibular Disorder or TMD is a broad term referring to problems with the jaws and their functioning. It is commonly referred to as “TMJ”. This system is very complex and problems are caused by a variety of factors.

A healthy smile begins with healthy function. Neuromuscular Dentistry measures the relaxed position of head and neck muscles to determine the optimal physiological position of the jaw and then repositions the jaw to achieve ideal occlusion, or bite position. Neuromuscular dentistry techniques can especially benefit people with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD). When teeth, muscles and joints are in harmony, symptoms associated with TMJ dysfunction can be alleviated.

Symptoms and Signs of TMJ Problem

Seek treatment from our specially trained dentists if you experience some of the following.

  • Headaches and/or Migraines
  • Neck/Shoulder pain
  • Ear congestion or pain
  • Grinding or clenching teeth while sleeping or awake
  • Loose teeth
  • Facial pain
  • Worn down teeth
  • Forward head posturing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Limited opening of the mouth
  • Tingling in the fingertips
  • Jaw pain and/or stiffness
  • Vague tooth soreness or toothache which often move around the mouth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Painful or tender jaw joint
  • Pain and fatigue when eating hard or chewy foods
  • Clicks, pops, or grinding sound in jaw joint
  • A pattern of breaking or cracking teeth with no other cause

Temporal Mandibular Disorders come in many forms and varying degrees of severity. Basically TMD is a problem when you either experience pain and/or a loss of jaw function. The pain can range from a mild ache in the morning to a chronic debilitating pain. Loss of function can be mild jaw stiffness to being unable to open the jaw barely at all.

Finding your ideal neuromuscular jaw position is paramount before final restoration begins. It prevents muscular imbalances that may otherwise lead to instability of teeth, bone, and body posture. Drs. Dickerson and Longa can restore an entire mouth to proper form and function by assessing occlusion (bite position), the muscles of the jaw, and the supporting hard and soft tissue structures of the temporomandibular joints.