It is estimated that around ten million people in the U.S. have a misaligned jaw. A misaligned bite can cause problems that affect more than simply the way you chew or speak. You may be suffering pain or other symptoms related to your jaw. Neuromuscular dentistry specializes in treating and correcting jaw misalignment or malocclusion. This is done by alleviating stress placed on the jaw and getting to the root of the painful symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Certified neuromuscular dentist Dr. Scott Young has the ability and experience to treat your painful symptoms that may be related to TMD. Please call (281) 367-5559 today for an appointment with Dr. Scott Young at Woodlands Premier Dentistry, in Woodlands and serving patients from across the Houston area.

What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Neuromuscular dentistry is a revolutionary approach to dentistry that doesn’t regard the components of your bite separately. Instead, it looks at your bite as an integrated system. Teeth, bones, muscles, and joints have to work together harmoniously for your jaw joints to function properly.

Neuromuscular dentistry works to understand this proper function of the jaw, how it can be disrupted, what are the effects of disruption, and how can the jaw be made right again. Neuromuscular dentists have developed many tools for measuring the function of the jaw so that diagnosis and treatment of jaw problems can be scientific and repeatable. This allows for precise analysis of jaw problems and properly matching your problem to an appropriate treatment.

TMD and Neuromuscular Dentistry

TMD is the most common condition addressed by neuromuscular dentistry. Your temporomandibular joints are the unique joints on each side of your face connecting your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. These joints are unlike any other joints in the body, partly because of the degree of motion they allow. In order to facilitate speaking and chewing, your jaw has to move freely in many ways, but also be able to muster significant strength. Not only are the muscles of the jaw very strong, they also partner with some of the other strongest muscles in the body, such as neck muscles and head muscles. The temporomandibular joints also have two of the largest nerve clusters in the body. If there is even a small malocclusion, the resulting symptoms can affect your daily life.

Neuromuscular dentistry can treat TMD symptoms, like:

  • Migraine-like headaches
  • Clicking and popping in the jaw
  • Grinding
  • Lockjaw
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Head, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Vision problems
  • Unexplained tooth loss

These and other symptoms may be relieved in a number of ways, but neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Young want to solve the problem, not just cover the pain. Because no two misaligned jaws are the same, the treatment will be different for each case. Non-invasive treatments that are available include:

  • Medication and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Resting the jaw and using warm compresses
  • Physical therapy including ultrasound, stretching the jaw muscles and relaxation exercises
  • Biofeedback therapy or stress reduction
  • Orthodontics such as custom-fitted mouth splints or bite plate
  • TENS machine to help relax the jaw and measure its optimum position

Many people have had pain they’ve suffered with for years or even decades relieved once they visit neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Young.

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If you believe you may be a candidate for neuromuscular dentistry in the areas of Houston, The Woodlands, or Kingwood, Texas, please call (281) 367-5559 or contact the experienced neuromuscular dental team at Woodlands Premier Dentistry for an initial consultation.