Temporomandibular Dysfunction is problems with muscles and jaw joints that form the mandibular part of the jaw and the temporal bone at the base of the skull. When balance to the teeth, muscles and bones are lost, the result can be:
Diagnosis requires an exam, x-rays, diagnostic models of your teeth and bite registration.
Treatment can be moist heat for muscle spasms, inflammation reducing drugs or muscle relaxants, muscle massage or physical therapy and a soft diet. To restore balance to the joint and teeth, Dr. Sam Muslin may construct an Orthotic or Bite Splint as initial therapy. Millions of people suffer from TMD but treatment and life style changes can restore health and harmony to the joint.
Dr. Sam Muslin's Opinion - Everyone has a different combination of problems. Each of us needs to have a complete assessment to fully diagnose and treat.
Neuromuscular Dentistry focuses on the relationship of the teeth, jaw muscles and jaw joints functioning in a harmonious bite. The muscles on both sides of the face are relaxed when you are not chewing. When you chew or swallow (you swallow thousands of times per day), your muscles should contract evenly and when you bring your teeth together, they touch evenly.
When your bite is uneven, the muscles have to shift to bring the teeth together and that means the muscles have to work harder. Even though the muscles feel normal to you, the muscles are still working much harder and that makes them become tired quickly, leads to headaches and damage to your teeth and jaw joint or TMJ. (Tempro Mandibular Joint)
Diagnosis of Neuromuscular Dentistry is to identify problems of the muscles, joints and bite (or occlusion) and to look for problems we can treat to stabilize the bite or occlusion . Many people do not have major symptoms that they can see but their teeth can be worn down which impacts their face. They look older because there is so much wear. Their jaw has to shift to make the teeth contact which makes the muscles work much harder trying to get the bite in a harmonious position. This causes constant muscle tension which leads to muscle fatigue, spasm and pain. Sometimes the muscle tension is so constant that the jaw joint is permanently damaged from bone rubbing against bone.
Your bite is analyzed, usually an orthotic is made to relax the muscles and stabilize the bite.
Dr. Sam Muslin is one of the few dentists in the State of California to have a Complex Motion Tomography Unit right in his office. This is a CAT SCAN image that exposes his patients to 728 times less radiation than a normal CAT SCAN. Dr. Muslin can get a detailed view of the jaw joint and the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. Dr. Muslin can check the health of the joint and amount of damage done, as well as the position of your jaw in the socket.
Generally, Dr. Muslin will take an image with the patient biting down hard which can show if the jaw is in the best position in the socket. If the patient has a bad bite , the jaw may not be in the optimal jaw joint position. Treatment is greatly facilitated because Dr. Sam Muslin now has information that directs the construction of the orthotic or bite splint or occlusal splint .
After construction of the orthotic, Dr. Sam Muslin can take another image to verify that the patient's jaw position is improved. Tomography is very helpful information. Tomography gives information that is not possible to obtain using only Sonography or Electromyography. Headaches and jaw pain can be treated with the information from Complex Motion Tomography.
Electromyography is the measurement of muscle tension in the chewing muscles when the muscles are tense or strained. Strained or tense muscles give off electrical currents that can be measured. After the patient's muscles are relaxed there is a different electrical current. If the doctor can determine the differences, he or she can conclude that you have a bad bite.
This can help locate the best path for jaw movement when chewing, talking and swallowing. The dentist can devise a treatment plan to help the patient stay in a stable comfortable position. Dr. Muslin's Opinion - Sometimes this equipment is so cumbersome that the patient postures differently when the equipment is on. This could create information that may not be reliable. Dr. Sam Muslin feels Tomography offers more reliable and reproducible information.
Tens Units sends electrical pulses into the muscles to relax the jaw muscles and relieve muscle pain. Then you can repeat the electromyography to compare relaxed and tense muscles.
The goal is to establish a better position for the lower jaw in the joint socket for the relationship between the upper and lower teeth to function in harmony. Pain is relieved when the jaw position is in harmony with the bite. In the Development of The Dental Face Lift ®. Dr. Sam Muslin has found that opening the bite to regain the loss due to tooth wear has made his patients in the middle age range much younger in appearance.
The shape of the face will be about the same shape it was 25 years ago after Face Lift Dentistry ®. As we wear down our teeth, of entire face gets shorter, our jaw joints can click and pop, we can get headaches, our lips go flat and our wrinkles increase. It is time for the ultimate care, the Dental Face Lift ®. The overall benefits can last for the rest of your life.