Is It All In Your Head?
Here’s news that may help take weight off your shoulders. If you experience common problems such as headaches, facial pain, neck, shoulder and back pain, jaw pain, sore or worn teeth, chipped or broken teeth, clicking or popping in the jaw or limited jaw movement, it could be due to a treatable condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or sometimes incorrectly referred to as TMJ. In addition to pain, it can lead to snoring, grinding of teeth, and breathing problems.
In most cases, TMD is caused by malocclusion. Malocclusion means your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way often causing underbites and overbites. When teeth are misaligned and the jaw is not in the right position, the muscles are stressed and can cause chronic pain.
Fortunately, the condition is treatable with the help of a neuromuscular dentist.
“Traditional dentists concern themselves with only the teeth bones and gums. Neuromuscular dentistry goes beyond that to address the dynamic relationships involving the muscles of the head and neck and the position of the bite,” says Dr. Bill Dickerson, founder of LVI Global, the leading post-graduate neuromuscular dental training center.
To treat problems such as TMD, neuromuscular dentists find the most comfortable muscle position of the lower jaw, Dickerson said. The dentist will then place a repositioning orthotic, usually on the lower teeth, to see if the pain the patient is having is related to their bad bite. Once the bite is realigned and the jaw is in place, pain that is a result of the imbalance will disappear. Then the dentist works to realign the bite and restore the teeth permanently to that optimal position.