Neuromuscular Dentistry

It has long been known that small differences in the closed-mouth relationship between the upper and lower jaw can lead to chronic facial pain and discomfort. ADAP’s dentists are trained in neuromuscular dentistry. We can guide your restorative treatment plan using the principles of neuromuscular dentistry along with modern imaging techniques.

Hi, it's Adrian Kat from Advanced Dental Artistry. I'd like to briefly talk about neuromuscular dentistry and what that terms actually means. As dentists, we are often focused on problems with the teeth. For example, a broken tooth, a decayed tooth, there's gum problems. What we're doing is we're fixing problems that are really individual teeth or individual problems. We have to remember though that the mouth, and the teeth, and the bite is part of a bigger system, and we know, for example, that the bite affects the jaw joint. The jaw joint and the bite also affects the muscles that actually allow this jaw to open and close. If you talk to any physio or chiro, they will actually have a chat to you about how this is a very, very tight system where, if there is imbalance in the bite or the jaw joint or the muscles of the head and neck, what will happen is it will have a detrimental effect on the rest of the spinal column. This includes pain in the neck, pain in the upper back, and sometimes going all the way down through the posterior chain.

Neuromuscular dentistry is really trying to find that balance and harmony. If we have a patient for example that has worn their teeth down or is missing teeth or is grinding or clenching or has some of these symptoms that can sometimes be called temporo mandibular disorder, and that's something that you can research yourself. There's a lot of symptoms that this syndrome actually has. What it really is saying is that the bite is out of balance. If we can find the harmony between the teeth and balance the jaw joint and the jaw muscles correctly, most of those symptoms actually go away or can be totally eliminated.

Neuromuscular dentistry really is looking at the mouth, and the teeth, and the bite holistically and making sure that the jaw joint and the jaw muscles are in harmony when we complete dental treatment.

Neuromuscular dentistry can help those with:

  • Jaw clicking
  • Repeating headaches or migraines
  • Earaches or congestion
  • Numbness of fingertips and arms
  • Clenching and grinding of teeth

Advanced Dental Artistry is one of the few dental practices in Perth able to deliver neuromuscular dentistry.

What is neuromuscular dentistry?

Many chronically painful conditions such as a headache, neck-ache, and facial pain can be traced to a defective relationship between the upper a lower jaws. The jaw connects at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and misalignment of this joint provokes a pathological response in the muscles and nerves surrounding the joint. This is often known as “TMJ syndrome.”

Symptoms of TMJ trouble include:

  • Bruxism or grinding of teeth
  • Neck or shoulder pain, tightness, headaches, or migraines
  • pain behind the eyes
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Ear congestion
  • Tingling in fingertips
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Postural problems
  • Clicking of the jaw on opening or closing
  • Teeth sensitivity

At Advanced Dental Artistry we use a variety of specialised equipment to detect and measure jaw misalignment. We treat TMJ misalignment with corrective splints worn at night.

Treating TMJ with Botox

The biggest benefit of using Botox is that normal functions such as speaking, chewing and swallowing are left unaffected, with the only noticeable difference being a reduction in discomfort. By controlling TMJ issues it also means dentists can prevent more serious issues from occurring later. If left untreated, the problem can lead to gum disease, decay and even the loosening and loss of teeth!

Before any Botox is administrated, the dentist needs to check the patient’s suitability. It is important a proper diagnosis is done and the dentist is aware of any other issues and/or medications. If not, when used in conjunction with certain medications and substances there is a risk the Botox injections may not get the desired results. Please note that Botox is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.

The injections themselves usually take around 10-20 minutes to administer depending on the quantity required. Dr Adrian at West Perth or Dr Tanya at Morley can perform the injections at either practice. This is a non-surgical procedure and relatively pain free but sedation can be given for those who get a little anxious.

Hi, I’m Tanya from Advanced Dental Artistry in Morley.

Most people think that dentists just look at teeth. But we also do muscle relaxants, such as using botox, and we also do fillers.

With muscle relaxants, it is actually about relaxing the muscles. A lot of people get botox for their frown lines, their eye brows, also for their forehead, for when they have lines on their forehead and for around the eyes. And also if they suffer from some sort of headaches or even tight muscles in the corners here. So botox can be used for aesthetics reasons, but it can also be used if people are having pain in their jaws and they just want something that is more short term.

Botox generally lasts for about 3 months and I generally say if it is done quite regularly, it generally lasts for a lot longer. The difference with fillers, fillers actually fill lines up so when someone already has a wrinkle in an area, you can look at filling it up with a filler. The other thing with people who are getting a bit older, sometimes their cheeks are not as fit so they like getting their cheek filled and their lips as well.

If you have questions or queries about botox and fillers, you can give us a call on 1800 SMILING.

Normal day to day life can resume immediately after treatment (apart from if you have been sedated!), but any strenuous physical activity should be avoided for the first 24 hours. It can often be a few days until patients begin to feel the full benefits of the treatments and it should continue to last for up to 3 months, with further ‘top up’ injections required thereafter.

What else can neuromuscular dentistry help?

As well as diagnosing and correcting misalignment of the jaws and treating TMJ problems, neuromuscular dentistry is a vital component of many successful dental implant restorations. Many older patients who elect to have implant-borne restorations may have been edentulous (missing teeth) for many years. As a consequence, they have lost a great deal of the crestal bone that supported the teeth, creating a greater distance between upper and lower jaw than nature intended.

In the planning stages of an extensive implant based restoration, our knowledge of neuromuscular dentistry enables us to plan the occlusal (bite) relationship we want and then create the prosthetic work needed to transfer the plan accurately to the patient’s mouth.

If you suffer from chronic face, neck, and head pain, and you think that neuromuscular dentistry might provide a solution, contact Advanced Dental Artistry today for a consultation.

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If you have any further questions or queries, don't hesitate to contact us.