There is more to a perfect bite than having straight teeth.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialization of dentistry that treats patients with dental problems like misalignment or malocclusion, also known as a bad bite, through the use of orthodontic appliances and brackets. Traditional orthodontics focuses on moving teeth to improve the visual appearance of the smile.
What is Neuromuscular Orthodontics?
Neuromuscular orthodontics takes into consideration the patient’s whole bite, not just the aesthetic appearance of the smile.
Neuromuscular orthodontic treatment is concerned with the jaw position, teeth, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bones of the jaw and how these factors impact the bite. Neuromuscular orthodontic treatment results in a bite that not only looks good but is also physiologically correct.
Neuromuscular orthodontics also provides patients with permanent relief from the pain caused by a bad bite.
How Does the Bite Impact These Structures?
When the teeth are out of alignment or the bite is unbalanced, the muscles of the jaw strain holding the bite in an unnatural position, Overtime, this strain impacts the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) of the jaw, causing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).
TMJD is extremely painful, and sufferers often experience dysfunction of the jaw that can impact speaking, eating, making facial expressions, and even breathing.
Many people also experience other painful health conditions as a result of their unbalanced bite, such as:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Sleep apnea
How Do I Know if Neuromuscular Orthodontics is Right for Me?
Neuromuscular orthodontic treatment is available for all patients, however, some patients may first require dental orthotic therapy before beginning their neuromuscular orthodontic treatment to stabilize their unbalanced bite.
To ensure effective and appropriate treatment, Dr. George evaluates and analyzes each patient, using information collected from X-rays, low frequency TENS, and our K-7 technology. The K-7 provides an in-depth look at the jaw movement, and allows Dr. George to track the movements of the jaw when biting to determine the cause of dysfunction.
Once the dysfunction of the bite is identified, if the patient needs bite stabilization, they will be fitted with a dental orthotic to relieve painful symptoms. After the bite is stabilized, a neuromuscular orthodontic treatment plan is designed to permanently move the structures of the mouth into their correct position.
Dr. George crafts your personalized treatment plan using information collected during your evaluation to what structures should be moved, what appliances should be utilized, and where appliances should be placed in order to attain the physiologically correct position of the bite.
How Does Dr. George Use Neuromuscular Orthodontics to Treat My TMJD?
Once Dr. George has determined the correct position of your bite and crafted your treatment plan, your neuromuscular orthodontic treatment will begin.
Many TMJD patients require the movement of teeth and/or the reshaping and expansion of the jaw to achieve the correct bite position. To move the teeth or adjust the jaw, Dr. George will place appliances on your teeth and jaw that are designed to apply gentle pressure to move these structures over time.
When your bite is physiologically correct, the muscles of your jaw begin to relax. Pain and other symptoms are relieved, and you can enjoy life – permanently free from TMJD pain.
You don’t have to live in pain. If you are interested in learning how neuromuscular orthodontics can help relieve your TMJD pain, contact us to schedule a consultation at 724-934-3422.