TMJ & Physiological Dentistry

tmj and neuromusclar dentistryServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Ever heard of physiological dentistry? This is a specialization of the dental field that emphasizes finding the ideal, harmonious alignment of your bite and jaw. If your jaw gets out of alignment for whatever reason, it can affect your life in a variety of ways—including by causing chronic and debilitating pain.

One of the most common reasons for chronic jaw pain is temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ. This disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joint itself, which connects the jaw to the skull, enters a state of dysfunction or falls out of alignment.

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ by another medical professional or think you may suffer from this disorder, then Devine Dentistry can help through our program of physiological dentistry.

What is physiological dentistry?

When you think of dentistry, you probably picture treatments focusing on individual teeth in your mouth. A physiological dentist takes a more comprehensive view of your oral health. They use their experience and training to identify the preferred balance between your bite, jaws, and orofacial muscles. Then, they seek to achieve that balance through treatment.

For patients with TMD, physiological dentists use their special training to determine and restore the optimal resting position for your jaw, alleviating whatever stress is being exerted on the temporomandibular joint itself. Once this alignment issue has been treated, it also can resolve an assortment of issues you may never have realized were connected to your jaw misalignment—such as pain in your mouth, neck, shoulders, and even back. Many patients with TMJ or other misalignment problems never realize they have an issue until they are diagnosed by a qualified medical professional.

How does TMJ cause chronic pain?

TMJ can be difficult to diagnose properly because many of its symptoms are identical to those caused by other ailments and disorders. This includes migraine headaches; many TMJ sufferers report they have been dealing with migraine headaches or headaches of migraine-like intensity. Learn more about how TMJ causes migraine headaches, or about the difference between TMJ headaches and migraine headaches.

Severe, chronic pain is a frequently reported symptom of TMJ because of the proximity of the temporomandibular joint to the trigeminal nerve, which transmits more sensory input to the brain than any other neural pathway in your nervous system.

How does a physiological dentist treat TMJ?

Your Nashville physiological dentist treats TMJ and achieves the ideal alignment of your bite and jaw through any of the following potential methods:

  • Replacing missing teeth with dental restorations
  • Shifting your existing teeth to alleviate crowding and restore the proper alignment of your bite
  • Filling gaps between teeth
  • Providing an oral appliance, which guides the jaws back into a preferred posture
  • Surgery (used only in the most severe cases, representing less than 1 percent of all TMJ cases)

At Devine Dentistry, Dr. Brian Devine is well-versed in the latest techniques and procedures in physiological dentistry and can provide lasting relief for TMJ sufferers. If you think that you or someone you love suffers from TMJ, seek treatment right away. Take the first step by calling our office at (615) 269-4209 to schedule a consultation.

Devine Dentistry provides comprehensive oral care for patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.