Neuromuscular Dentistry Questions

What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Neuromuscular Dentistry is an aspect of dentistry that addresses the interaction between the jaw, its position, the nerves, and surrounding muscles. The goal behind it is to create a harmonious, functional relationship between the hard and soft tissues in the jaw and relieve any symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder by placing the jaw into its optimal position.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD, is when the temporomandibular joint, a ball-and-socket joint that connects the skull and lower jaw, is displaced. Since the temporomandibular joint controls even the most minute of jaw movements, its misalignment can have a devastating affect on your quality of life and overall health.

What are the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Unfortunately the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder are elusive, resulting in countless numbers of patients receiving inadequate treatment. Often each symptom snowballs into the other, which causes most physicians difficulty in pinpointing the source of the problem.

Common symptoms include:

  • Migraine-like headache

  • Jaw clicking, locking or popping

  • Ear ringing

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Pain behind the ears

  • Neck pain

  • Inexplicable earaches, pain behind the ears, and/or ear ringing

  • Loose and painful teeth


How is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder diagnosed?

If we suspect your temporomandibular joint is misaligned, we will take an impression of your bite and do a series of radiographs to examine the interaction between your jaw and bite.

How is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder treated?

If we determine that a misaligned temporomandibular joint causes your pain, treatment will begin immediately. We use a number of methods to minimize pain while realigning your temporomandibular joint:

  • Prescribed dental appliances (a neuromuscular orthotic) to reduce the havoc caused by jaw clenching and grinding, while simultaneously improving your bite and readjusting the lower jaw’s alignment

  • Using a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit, which is a small device used to relieve muscle spasm and pain by massaging muscles, sending a rhythmic pulsing of ultra low frequencies to increase blood flow, and stimulate endorphin production

  • Recommending at-home solutions, such as reducing jaw movement, adjusting your diet, and applying hot and cold packs


Are all dentists familiar with TMD?

Unfortunately, no, not all dentists are familiar with TMD and neuromuscular dentistry. Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko has undergone numerous hours of training and has been certified in TMD diagnosis and neuromuscular dentistry.

If you have additional questions regarding neuromuscular dentistry or believe you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, please contact  today to schedule your personal consultation at our Edmonton, Alberta office