Neuromuscular Dentistry and Beyond at the Center for Holistic Dentistry
Traditional dentistry assumes a persons bite (how they come together)have developed correctly. When a traditional Dentist or Orthodontist make an effort to replace, restore, or straighten teeth are performed at the bite position that is "habitual" for the patient, without awareness of the impact this may have on the patient's health. This can contribute to many different health problems because of the relationship between our bodies as a whole.
The term "Neuromuscular Dentistry"describes a more advanced approach to restorative dentistry and orthodontics that places emphasis upon the function of the muscles that move the jaw. Neuromuscular dentistry recognizes that the muscles that move the jaw must be in a comfortable, relaxed position in order to not be in conflict with the teeth and TM joint. This encourages better posture and can assist in the resolution of chronic physical complaints elsewhere in the body. The first goal of Neuromuscular Dentistry is to find the position of the jaw where the muscles are relaxed and at rest.
In our practice we go beyond the limits of even this advanced approach; with our training in Acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, and Cranial Sacral Therapy, we also concern ourselves with the balance and integration of all structures of the body. Which is why we work closely with other health care practitioners.
To establish a healthy bite we may employ the The Biopak System,a computer-assisted analysis device that is used to record the position of the jaw where the muscles are relaxed and at rest.
The Computerized Jaw Tracker utilizes a magnet placed in front of your lower front teeth and a sensor array to measure and record this ideal position in three dimensions.
The Eight Channel Electro-myograph is used to verify that this new position results in decreased muscle activity. Muscle activity is measured by recording the amount of electrical activity in individual muscles. "
Joint Vibration Analysis another parameter that is measured. Sensitive microphones that look like headphones are worn over the joints. These measure joint vibrations associated with sound and tells us when they occur in the opening and closing of the joints. These vibrations can then be analyzed to determine the condition of tissues within the TM Joints (clicking)
A device called a Bio-TENS is used to relax the muscles. It is a low frequency T.E.N.S. (Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) unit. This device delivers a mild electrical impulse to the muscles that move the jaw. The rhythmic pulsing (once every 1.5 seconds) relaxes the muscles. In addition to relaxing the muscles, it sets up ideal muscle function by increasing blood flow, flushing out toxins. We often find that after 20-30 minutes of stimulation, the muscles are in their ideal position.
Once we have verified the comfortable position of the lower jaw, we can fabricate a bite appliance that allows the jaw to close to this ideal position. In this position, the muscles are at an ideal length and will not go into spasm. Muscles will heal, painful trigger points will go away, and joint capsules will heal. This bite appliance is left in place for about three months to stabilize the bite and insure that all symptoms are gone.
At this point a re-evaluation is made to have orthodontics done to move the teeth to this ideal position, have one or two arches of teeth restored, to adjust the bite to this ideal position or wear a bite appliance indefinitely.
Common symptoms that occur when teeth, jaws and muscles are in conflict include:
- Loose teeth
- Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth or fillings
- Clenching or grinding
- Notches at the gum line on the sides of teeth
- Pain or clicking and popping in joints
- Shoulder, neck, and back pain
- Numbness in arms and fingers
- Pain behind the eyes
- Facial pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain and sensitivity in teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Receding gums
- Ringing or congestion in the ears
Most people who clench or grind their teeth are completely unaware that they have a problem.If you have any of the above symptoms you may have TMJ dysfunction syndrome. Treatment is safe and gentle, especially if you catch it early enough to avoid permanent long term damage.
If you experience or have experienced any of the above symptoms or problems, they may be due to improper jaw alignment, muscle or joint problems. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us.
- Nutrition and Degenerative Dental Disease
- Why We do not use Mercury- Silver Fillings
- Choosing a Bio-Compatible Dental Restoration
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Orofacial Pain & Temporomandibular Disorders
- The Cranial Mechanism and Dentistry
- Dental Somatic Dysfunction & Dental Somatic Integration™
- Straight teeth and a beautiful smile are accessible to all at The Center for Holistic Dentistry
- Neuromuscular Dentistry and Beyond at the Center for Holistic Dentistry
- Tomographic Imaging For Precise TMJ & Orthodontic Diagnosis
- Root Canal Therapy - a Holistic view
- Applied Kinesiology; an indispensable tool in Holistic Dentistry
- The Dental Connection in Cardiac Pain and Arrhythmia
- Acupuncture Energetics in the Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders
- Dental Distress Syndrome by Dr. Aelred Fonder
- General Guidelines for the Patient Undergoing Removal of Mercury-Amalgam Fillings
- The Dental Treatment of Snoring and Sleep Apnea