A guide to neuromuscular dentistry in Chesterland, OH: relieve TMJ pain, symptoms rooted in misalignment

First-class dentistry is available at the neighborhood office of Chesterland Family Dental Care. Led by Dr. Brianne (“Dr. Bri”) Fratantonio, our practice provides neuromuscular dentistry to patients in Chesterland, OH, and the surrounding area, including Hunting Valley, Gates Mills, Chardon, Munson, Kirtland, Russell, Chagrin Falls, Novelty, and Mayfield. 

Neuromuscular dentistry

Dentist Dr. Bernard Jankelson and muscle physiologist Dr. H. H. Dixon first introduced the term in the 1960s. “Neuromuscular dentistry” accounts for the three dimensions that make up the masticatory (chewing) system: 

  • Teeth
  • Temporomandibular Joints (TMJs)
  • Muscles

“Conventional” dentistry has accounted for two dimensions: the teeth and TMJs. But, without the muscles, this system would be static and unable to function. Throughout the latter part of the 20th and 21st centuries, technological breakthroughs have advanced this approach to dentistry. Notably, technologies were developed to assess and monitor the relationship between the corresponding upper and lower teeth when they touch each other and when at rest or when chewing (occlusal disease). Neuromuscular dentists are also able to monitor muscle activity and correlate muscle activity with the position of the jaw.

Accurate neuromuscular diagnostics, effective treatment

This concept is built partly on the idea that joint and muscle function should be optimized before restoring dental occlusion or the correction of misalignment and bite problems. Healthy bite and alignment should be restored in a way that the muscles don’t have to overcompensate or function in unnatural ways to bring the teeth together properly. This approach supports muscle relaxation, which, in turn, promotes relief from the symptoms of TMJ disorders. These functional disorders arise from imbalances related to the delicate relationship among the skull, jaws, and the muscles and nerves that move the jaw. Symptoms generally include:

  • Pain in various places – the face, jaw, neck, back, and shoulders
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Spasms
  • Jaw locking 
  • Earaches and ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Muscle fatigue

Additionally, traumatic occlusion rooted in jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding (bruxism) results in chipped, damaged enamel, and teeth that are forced out of their proper positions. We at Chesterland Family Dental Care understand that relaxed muscles support a healthy bite. In fact, neuromuscular occlusion refers to how the treatment of misalignment and bite issues are coordinated with therapies to promote healthy, relaxed chewing muscles. Our dentists also use the most widely-accepted quantitative assessment to pinpoint the nature of your TMJ symptoms. The TMJ Scale™ is also used to measure how well treatments are working. 

Learn more about Neuromuscular Dentistry and other advanced dental care technologies

Call (440) 491-4001 to schedule an appointment

Some of those treatments include oral appliances such as splints and/or restorations and teeth-shaping to achieve a new, healthy bite position. Generally, neuromuscular dentistry is precise, conservative, multi-disciplinary, and directly aims at the source of symptoms. This advanced approach doesn’t merely provide relief from symptoms such as pain. Benefit from neuromuscular dentistry—Call (440) 491-4001 to schedule your appointment at our office today.