Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
Do you know where the temporomandibular joint is in your body? Here’s a hint; it is the joint connecting your lower jaw to your skull. This joint is small but can have a significant impact on your oral health and the way your body functions if it enters a state of dysfunction.
If you have TMJ or think you may suffer from the disorder, then you owe it to yourself to seek the care of a neuromuscular dentist.
The following page provides information on TMJ, neuromuscular dentistry, and how neuromuscular dentistry can help TMJ patients obtain lasting relief. If you live in middle Tennessee and need treatment for your case of TMJ, contact Devine Dentistry by calling (615) 269-4209 to make an appointment for a consultation.
Warning signs of TMJ
Many individuals suffering from TMJ never have the disorder properly diagnosed or treated. Instead, their symptoms end up being masked by taking pain medication.
Common symptoms of a case of TMJ often include the following:
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- General feeling of dizziness
- Migraine headaches, or painful headaches of a migraine-like intensity
- Pain in the jaws, especially when chewing
- Hearing a popping or clicking sound in the jaw
- Pain that radiates to neck, back, or extremities
- And more!
Click here for a more comprehensive list of the symptoms of TMJ.
If you are experiencing any of the problems above, TMJ may be the cause and it will not go away on its own. Taking a “wait-and-see” approach is the worst thing you can do, as a case of TMJ will only continue to cause problems and worsen the longer it goes untreated.
A neuromuscular dentist has special post-graduate training focusing on the alignment of the bite and jaw.
Neuromuscular dentists have undergone additional education that goes far beyond what is taught in standard dental school. While a neuromuscular dentist can treat any issue that a general dentist can, neuromuscular dentists also are trained to treat all hard and soft tissues in the mouth as it relates to overall balance of oral health, including the jaws and temporomandibular joints.
No medical professional is better qualified than a neuromuscular dentist to provide diagnosis and treatment for a case of TMJ.
What does a neuromuscular dentist do, and why is the specialty important?
If your jaw has fallen into misalignment, especially in cases where TMJ causes the alignment issue, a neuromuscular dentist can help. First, the dentist will perform an evaluation of your mouth and jaws to determine signs of damage. This evaluation is done by examining the alignment of the bite, the muscles of the jaw, and the supporting hard and soft tissue structures.
Then, your neuromuscular dentist at Devine Dentistry will restore the proper alignment of the bite and jaw, thus alleviating any dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint and eliminating your case of TMJ, as well as any corresponding problems caused by the disorder. Treatment of TMJ by a neuromuscular dentist often takes the form of oral appliance therapy, which involves the construction of specially made orthotic mouthpieces, which, when worn, gently guide the jaws back into their ideal alignment, relieving stress on the jaw joints.
What are the consequences of TMJ if it goes untreated?
As mentioned above, seeking professional diagnosis and treatment is the only way to resolve a case of TMJ and obtain lasting relief.
The most common symptom of TMJ is pain, which often is severe and chronic, to the point it impedes your daily ability to function. When the muscles of the jaw start to enter a state of dysfunction, this can impact the surrounding nerves and blood vessels, including the trigeminal nerve, which transmits more sensory input to the brain than any neural pathway—including the spinal cord. Because the trigeminal nerve often is aggravated in cases of migraine headaches, many patients with migraines are misdiagnosed as suffering from the disorder when, in reality, their headaches are caused by TMJ.
Click here for more information on headaches caused by TMJ. This page includes information on the link between TMJ headaches and migraines, and how they differ.
Long-term consequences of TMJ can be dire. You may lose teeth, or have teeth become cracked or broken. Another potential ramification of TMJ is the loss of function in the jaw, which could leave you hardly able to open your jaw at all. Over time, untreated or undiagnosed TMJ affects the muscles of the neck and alignment of the spine, further impacting your ability to function.
A neuromuscular dentist in Nashville such as at Devine Dentistry can provide the lasting relief you need. The next step is to call 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.