Temporomandibular Disorders

What is TMD?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders is a collective group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw. There can be a variety of causes of TMD, including:

- Previous trauma to the head and neck region.

- Generalized joint problems (e.g. arthritis)

- Stress

- A problem with your bite.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMD?

There can be quite a variety of symptoms relating to TMD.  Some of these include:

- A clicking, popping or painful jaw joint.

- Grinding/clenching habit

- Headaches

- Neck/backaches

- Congested/ringing ears

- Tingling fingers

- Sleeping problems

- Limited opening of the mouth

What are the signs your dentist may see that indicate your bite is involved?

- Tender muscles that are involved in moving your jaw

- Considerable wear on your teeth

- "V" shaped defects at the base of your teeth.

- Gum recessin

- Sensitive, cracked teeth

- Postural problems

Neuromuscular Dentistry:  finding a relaxed bite.

Because your teeth need to come together every time you swallow or chew food, your muscles are programmed to find this position all day long.  If this position is not in a balanced or comfortable location, then your muscles will begin to fatigue and extra pressures are placed on your jaw joint. 

The neuromuscular dentist seeks to establish a jaw position based on a harmonius relationship of the three main factors affecting occlusion - the teeth, muscles and joints.  The resulting jaw position is called the neuromuscular occlusion.

To find a netural bite where your muscles are happy requires your pre-programmed and often fatigued muscles to be completely relaxed.  

Based on measurement of how long your teeth should be, we are able to find a new bite and measure this.

Once measured, an orthotic is specially manufactured to fit your lower teeth.