How advanced dentistry can alleviate persistent jaw, head, neck pain and other common discomforts.
Many people suffer from such common ailments as persistent headaches, jaw pain, neck or shoulder pain, ringing in the ears and popping of the jaw. Others snore, grind their teeth or have limited jaw movement. Although these symptoms may be common, they are not necessarily untreatable.
Often, the underlying cause of these symptoms is called TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) or TMD (temporomandibular disorder.) This disorder often occurs when the teeth do not close together properly, including underbites and overbites. The misalignment of the teeth causes the jaw muscles to strain and force the jaw into better alignment. This constant straining leads to pain or other symptoms throughout the head and neck area.
Imagine forcing your arm and wrist into an awkward position to reach down a drain or under a sink. Now, imagine doing that consistently each day. Although your body may become accustomed to the abuse, you will eventually manifest symptoms of overuse, including joint and muscle pain. TMJ is the same type of disfunction due to inappropriate use of your jaw muscles.
First, a specialist will calibrate a “baseline” for your jaw position. This is the natural position where your jaw rests when it is completely relaxed.
Try relaxing your jaw for a moment. Although you won’t be completely able to release all tension, you will have a sensation of ease and balance in your face. Now, imagine biting your teeth together from that position, yet still maintaining that full degree of relaxation. This is the position in which your jaw is naturally designed to rest.
By calibrating the natural position of your jaw, a dentist can then restore your bite to perfect balance, causing the jaw joint and teeth to work in their natural synergy.
Please visit us if you suffer from symptoms as diverse as:
Dr. Essen can evaluate your bite and jaw joint relationship to let you know if you might be a candidate for neuromuscular dentistry. Dr. Essen has received advanced training in TMJ disorders.