Ending the Daily Grind
TMD causes an assortment of painful symptoms, including teeth grinding. Fear not—neuromuscular dentistry can help you get your ideal bite back.
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After the data is analyzed, the dentist creates a custom orthotic appliance to stabilize the lower jaw in a relaxed position. Depending on the severity of symptoms, the dentist may recommend the patient see a physical therapist or chiropractor.
However effective, the orthotic is a temporary solution. Its plastic will eventually wear out through chewing and swallowing. But since the jaw is aligned optimally, the patient is eligible to select a permanent solution. That could mean braces.
Full mouth restoration with crowns and veneers is usually reserved for patients whose teeth are in poor condition or who have already had extensive restorative work.
Should everyone with an irregular bite seek treatment? “Absolutely not,” Carroccia says. “I like to treat those patients whose problems seem to be more debilitating than the average person.”
Shirlann Wiedenmann is another TMD patient who suffered with jaw pain and migraines for more than 30 years.
“I had popping and clicking and pain in the jaw all the way to the ear,” says Wiedenmann, 48, of Bear.
Wiedenmann tried to correct her bite by wearing braces when she was in her 20s, but the problems persisted. Her muscles were so tense, it took four hours of TENS treatment to relax her jaw. But when it was all said and done, wearing the orthotic made a difference.
“I had a very tense bite and now, when I wear the orthotic, it makes my mouth feel very relaxed,” she says. “I know it’s helped my headaches.”