tooth

Neuromuscular Dentistry – TMJ
Treatment

Neuromuscular dentistry is dental treatment that focuses on correcting jaw misalignment. Inside your mouth are two joints — one on each side — that connect your jawbone to your skull. They are called temporomandibular joints, which is often abbreviated as TMJ. These joints are right in front of your ears and include a small cartilage disk that cushions the two bones so they can glide smoothly and allow you to chew and speak comfortably.

Temporomandibular disorder or dysfunction (TMD) is a problem with the joint leading to pain in your jaw and in the muscles around it that control movement. It may be difficult to determine the exact cause of TMD, because it can come from a variety of factors, including:

  • Genetics that predispose you to TMJ disorders
  • Arthritis that causes the cartilage to wear down
  • Jaw injury that damages the cartilage or bones
man holding jaw in pain

The most common symptoms you will experience if you have TMD include:

  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Pain while chewing or speaking
  • Aching facial pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Sensitive or sore teeth
  • Worn or cracked teeth

 

  • Limited jaw movement (locked jaw)
  • Sharp pain in your neck and shoulders
  • Numbness and tingling in your fingers and arms
  • Clicking, popping or grating sounds when you open and close your mouth
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression

Treating TMJ Disorders

Around 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders every year, but the good news is that most people can effectively manage the pain and discomfort with nonsurgical treatments. Surgery may be necessary for some, but it is often a last resort.

At Young Family Dental, our dentist starts with an examination to diagnose your TMD. We listen to and feel your jaw opening, identify areas of discomfort or pain, and observe how well you can move your jaw. We may also recommend dental X-rays, a CT scan or an MRI to get a better look at your teeth, jawbone, muscles and other tissues in and around your joint.

Most TMJ disorders can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen), ice and heat to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Depending on your diagnosis, the dentist may also recommend other medications that have been shown to help relieve tooth grinding (bruxism), or prescribe muscle relaxants for short-term relief of muscle spasms leading to TMJ pain.

In addition to medication, the dentist may recommend an oral splint or mouthguard to help keep your jaw in place and avoid teeth grinding. Other nonsurgical treatments that can be effective for some people include physical therapy to stretch and strengthen your jaw muscles and even counseling or other therapy to try and better cope with stress or other factors contributing to teeth clenching or grinding.

Visit Young Family Dental Today

The talented team of dentists at Young Family Dental uses neuromuscular dentistry techniques to focus on treating facial and jaw muscles, restoring them to optimal positions and relieving pain associated with joint dysfunction. We can help anyone suffering from TMD find relief. Schedule an appointment at our Utah dental offices in West Jordan, Riverton, American Fork, Saratoga Springs or Orem to learn more about how neuromuscular dentistry and TMJ treatment can help you.

  • “These guys are awesome! I had a tooth break on a Friday afternoon and they got me in right away! I’ve since seen 3 different dentists there and have no complaints. The office staff is incredible and friendly. I still am not a huge fan of going to the dentist, but this office has really helped alleviate my fears and dental anxiety. I would recommend them to anyone.”

    Ashleigh Jackson

  • I’ve known Dr. Chris for over 10 years, and my experience with him has been awesome. I got Invisalign with him to straighten my teeth, and it was incredible to have straight teeth! It was great, too, that I was an adult and I didn’t have to walk around with braces like a teenage weirdo. Chris and YFD are excellent, I highly recommend them.

    Johnny Thomas

  • Anne Marie Gross referred me to your office and has had nothing but great things to say about you! I am looking forward to scheduling an appointment soon!

    Rashael Stocking Matthews

  • Deron Gross- when I went to young family dental they treated me very nicely and took great care of me:) appreciate all the work they’ve done:)

    Deron Deron

  • I took both my 8 year old and 3 year old daughters there, and it was great experience from beginning to end. It was the first time for my 3 year old (don’t judge me ?) Jacqueline was great at making it a fun experience for her. Jessica helped take care of my 8 year old who had some infection on a tooth she had worked on a while ago. And the dentist was great too. Overall, everyone was friendly, everything was clean, and at the end I had a credit on my account that I didn’t know was there which was an added bonus.

    Jessica Murdock

  • Young Family Dental Riverton employs the latest technology and procedures. The staff is always friendly and make you feel comfortable.

    Chanel Price

  • Everything they do is on time and as scheduled. They send you reminders for your appointments. They are great. My entire family goes to Young Family Dental Riverton.

    Astony Stino

  • I love young family dental! Their assistants are great and make me feel comfortable which is important to me because I don’t like going to the dentist. The dentists are very informative and make me feel at ease as well. They take extra time and care to make sure you fully understand what is being done and what needs to be done. If you need a check up, a cleaning, or work done stop or call young family in Riverton Utah, they are great!!

    James Ross

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    Orchid Lopez-Zamarron