Neuromuscular Dentistry (NMD)-Beyond the Appearance of Smile
Cranio-mandibular disorders,myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) and orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD)
Are you suffering from; Jaw joint pain, facial pain, shoulder pain, headaches, poor sleep, burning mouth, dry mouth, mouth ulcers, disturbances of taste and smell, unsteady balance and chronic fatigue?
The focus of integrative neuromuscular dental wellness is not just your teeth and gums, but with the entire functional system that allows you to chew, swallow, speak, sing, kiss, or yawn, smile – basically anything you do with your mouth and facial muscles. Specifically, that system includes the teeth, as well as the jaw joints used to open and close your mouth and all muscles of the face neck and the dura mater (fibrous sheet covering the scalp). By considering the position of the teeth in relation to the optimal function of the joints and muscles of the face head and neck. In this clinic we seek to restore a balanced relationship within the neuromuscular component of face, jaw and it relationship on how the head is balance on the neck.
Most cases of misalignment are the result of an overall tooth position that requires the lower jaw to retract backwards into the face in order to make the molars fit together for chewing.
Genetics can sometimes play a role in overall tooth position, but often a misalignment bite and, jaws will begin with childhood allergies that initiate a habit of mouth-breathing, or orthodontics and dental restorations that don’t take the muscles and joint position into account. Tooth extraction can also cause the teeth and jaw to shift, particularly if the missing teeth are not replaced promptly, some neuromuscular conditions which cause spasms in the muscles of the spine, neck and face for example; MS, Parkinson, whiplash injury, systemic diseases, osteoarthritis, and any other conditions that because spasms can result in torqueing of the dura mater (fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull). all facials and neck muscles due constant spasms.
Dental and Whole Body Integrative Medicine approach for Cranio-Mandibular, Orofacial Myofunctional disorders and myofascial pain syndromes.
In an ideal system, the teeth should hit solidly and evenly in the back but not touch in the front unless you are moving the lower jaw forward in order to bite into something like an apple or sandwich.
The large cheek muscles drive the chewing action and the TMJs, or jaw joints, should swing freely through the process. However, if the teeth are aligned in a way that forces the lower jaw backwards, the cheek muscles are foreshortened and unable to fire correctly, requiring other muscles to try and take over. As the lower jaw moves further back into the face, the TMJ often becomes compressed. The cartilage disc that should move freely with the lower jaw as it opens and closes may even become displaced and slowly begin to change shape over time. Clicking, popping, locking, joint pain, headaches, and even ear or eye pain can often be the result of a compressed joint and compromised muscles of face and neck.
The first diagnostic tools that we use to determine if your muscles and jaw joints are functioning with your bite correctly is a muscle and joint palpation. You will ask you to open, close, and clench your teeth as he or she physically feels for function in the different facial muscles and the TMJs. If it is clear that the main chewing muscles are not able to fire with clenching, then there is an imbalance in the bite. Pain in any of the palpated muscles inside the mouth and facial areas may also be an indication that something is not balanced correctly or that the muscles are being asked to function too much. Catches, locks, clicks and pops in the joints are also indications of a bite imbalance, as well as the breakdown and remodeling of the jaw joints. All of these symptoms are carefully noted during the physical exam.
Depending on the results of the exam and the reported history of pain or lack of function, we may recommend additional diagnostic testing such as dental imaging (MRI and CBCT) to determine extent of damage in the jaw joints, thermography to determine if inflammation is present and order lab mineral analysis in order to determine mineral status and special measurements with special instruments to determine the exact amount of imbalance in the bite, jaw joints, and muscles of the face and neck. After reviewing all the collected data, a program will be designed for you to help alleviate pain and restore normal function and overall wellbeing.
Integrative treatments may include but not limited to;
•Oral orthotic therapy and splints
•Electro-acuscope (special muscle balancing and pain management device). For chronic headache related to overactive muscle function or extreme clinching and grinding
• Neuromuscular manual techniques
•Practitioner directed exercises
•Full mouth reconstruction (referral if necessary)
•Non-drug transdermal patches (muscle balancing and stress management)
•Referral services to coordinate treatment for complex patients with unusual malformations of the jaws who may be in need of surgery or/or orthodontic treatment.
Integrative therapy for pain, trauma & stress management
Low Level Laser Technology
Low level laser therapy has proven to be very effective for many conditions that have not responded well to other forms of treatment. LLLT has been thoroughly tested and proven effective in most countries of the world. It is a well-accepted and recommended form of treatment in England, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Russia, Israel, Japan, Canada, India, Venezuela and many other countries in Europe, South America and the Far East.
Typically, patients can expect to feel noticeable improvement after four to five sessions for acute conditions (not uncommon after one visit with some individual) and after six to eight treatments for chronic conditions. In many instances, low level laser therapy can be a viable alternative to surgery.
Because of the low power nature of low level laser therapy the effects are biochemical and not thermal and cannot cause heating and thereby damage to living tissue.
Laser technology is used as part of our treatment protocols for:
Laser Sinus Treatment
Sinuses are air-filled cavities present in the skull-bone, communicating with the nose through tiny openings. Therefore, a nasal infection sometimes spreads to one or more sinuses causing a swelling of their inner surfaces. Symptoms of sinusitis include throbbing pain in the forehead or cheeks which gets worse on stooping, moving the head or coughing and sometimes, fever.
When a cold lingers beyond a week, the cause may be an inflammation of the sinuses, a condition called sinusitis. Caused by a bacterial infection, Sinusitis is often mistaken for a common cold because the symptoms are somewhat similar.
Patients with sinusitis usually present with malaise, mild fever, headache and nasal discharge. The area of the face over the inflamed sinus may even appear swollen in some cases. While drainage from the nose during a common cold is often clear, drainage due to sinusitis is often thick and yellowish-green in color. Sinus pain and pressure is frequent. A sore throat and bad breath, resulting from drainage dripping down the back of the throat, may also occur. Antibiotic medications are often opted for but homeopathic or laser treatment maybe the best solution to gain long lasting relief.
Electroacuscope for Pain Management and Muscle Balancing
Electro-Acuscope ™ is an electronic instrument that produces a gentle-low electric current which is emitted in pulses. Electro-Acuscope creates a deeper stimulation at the points being treated. Both laser and electro acupuncture are used for but not limited to; Acute injuries, contusions, concussions, pre/post-surgical, chronic pain, MVA’s, head/neck injuries, headaches, sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, intractable pain patterns, scar tissue, arthritis, fibromyalgia, MS, lymphatic drainage and many other uses.