You do everything you can to help your patients live healthy, pain-free lives. Some patients suffer difficult to treat headache, facial and upper body pain—pain that does not respond well to typical response- or clinical-drug-therapy. In fact, in the USA alone, about 45 million people report having regular headaches. Your goal is to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of your patient's pain, and these headaches and upper body pains can be very frustrating to diagnose, let alone treat.
There is a direct relationship between oral health and difficult to diagnose disorders you may see in your practice. This type of upper body pain is frequently linked to masticatory system problems, such as temporomandibular joint disease (also known as TMD or TMJ). TMJ affects millions of people. It is a chronic degenerative disease that may take years to develop. Occlusion is affected by a triad of factors—the teeth, the muscles and the temporomandibular joints, and those who suffer from TMJ have a structural imbalance in their jaw-to-skull relationship, caused by a bad bite.
Assessment of TMJ disorders can be difficult because there is often a disconnect between the source of the pain and the pain experience. It is difficult to assess pain objectively, and often the only measure you have of chronic pain intensity is the patient's description.
With your referral, your patients will have access to the latest diagnostic tools and equipment especially designed to evaluate and measure malocclusion. A number of major diagnostic and treatment advancements have emerged—including doppler auscultation for TMJ disorders, differential arthrography to assess the role of muscle on disk derangements, and exciting new insights into degenerative joint disease—all through neuromuscular dentistry. Neuromuscular dentistry offers non-invasive modalities and treatments for TMJ disease. With neuromuscular dentistry, we can determine the optimal position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, and then repositioning the jaw to achieve those exact measurements. Its efficacy is unparalleled.
Some symptoms of TMJ include:
This section of the website features information about neuromuscular dentistry and its relevance to pain management. Please do not hesitate to contact us at 314.727.3300 if you should have any questions.