What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

How do you know if you have a problem with your TMJ?


(Commonly known as TMD, or Temporo-Mandibular Dysfunction)

Symptoms could include:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Headaches
  • Noises coming from the joint, including clicking or popping
  • Pain in the ear
  • Pain in the face
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Pain or spasm in the neck or shoulder muscles
  • Shortened teeth from grinding
  • Inability to open very wide
  • A change in your bite

Drug-induced TMD:

In the last few years, research has shown that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa may cause clenching and grinding of the teeth in patients who have never done this before and will increase these behavior (both in frequency and intensity) in those known to clench or grind their teeth. This side effect is relatively unknown to physicians, although we continue to educate them when we can. If your jaw pain/headache symptoms started a few weeks to a month or two after you started taking one of these medications, we would suggest you alert your physician to this, as the symptoms could be well related to the drugs.

Treatment in our office could include:

  • TENS therapy (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Orthotic

How could you be treated at Hanswirth Dentistry?

TENS uses a minute electrical current to massage and relax the facial muscles. Feeling a series of rhythmic taps on the cheeks, patients can read, watch TVor watch a DVD during therapy.

An Orthotic is often used after TENS treatment to hold the relaxed jaw in the most natural and unstrained position. This can be worn on the lower teeth and can be made as a removable appliance. Once it is established that your bite would best be permanently positioned in the new location, a decision is made whether or not orthodontics, restorative dentistry or simply coronoplasty is used.