Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry is a dental treatment philosophy in which temporomandibular joints, masticatory muscles and central nervous system mechanisms are claimed to follow generic physiologic and anatomic laws applicable to all musculoskeletal systems. It is a treatment modality of dentistry that focuses on correcting "misalignment" of the jaw at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Neuromuscular dentistry acknowledges the multi-facted musculoskeletal occlusal signs and symptoms as they relate to postural problems involving the lower jaw and cervical region. Neuromuscular dentistry claims that "misalignment problem(s)" can be corrected by understanding the relationships of the tissues involved, which include muscles, teeth, temporomandibular joints, and nerves. In short, proponents of neuromuscular dentistry claim that it adds objective data and understanding to previous mechanical models of occlusion.

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) are claimed to include:

Headaches / migraines
Facial pain
Back, neck and shoulder pain
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Vertigo (dizziness)
Trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux), a neuropathic pain disorder unrelated to TMD
Bell's Palsy, a nerve disorder unrelated to TMD
Sensitive and sore teeth
Jaw pain
Limited jaw movement or locking jaw
Numbness in the fingers and arms (related to the cervical musculature and nerves, not to TMD)
Worn or cracked teeth
Clicking or popping in the jaw joints
Jaw joint pain
Tender sensitive teeth
A limited opening or inability to open the mouth comfortably
Deviation of the jaw to one side
The jaw locking open or closed
Postural problems (forward head posture)
Pain in the joint(s) or face when opening or closing the mouth, yawning, or chewing
Pain in the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints
Pain in the occipital (back), temporal (side), frontal (front), or infra-orbital (below the eyes) portions of the head
Pain behind the eyes
Swelling on the side of the face and/or mouth
A bite that feels uncomfortable, "off," or as if it is continually changing
Older Bells palsy




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