Neuromuscular Dentistry in Fort Worth, TX
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. The TMJs are two small joints that hold the mandible to the temporal bone and allow free movement of the lower jaw.
Have you ever wondered what the word means? Temporo- derives from the Latin word tempus, which means “time,” or possibly from the Greek word temnion, which means “battle.” The Latin may be associated with the gray hair that appears on the side of the head over time, while the Greek may relate to the fact that this area of the skull is highly susceptible to fatal injury during battle. In temporomandibular, temporo- refers to the temporal bones of the skull, which are located just in front of and beneath the ears along both sides of the head. Mandibular, from the Latin word mandere, means “to chew” and refers to the lower jaw.
What is TMD?
TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder. TMD occurs when the TMJs are misaligned. Patients with TMD often suffer from headaches or migraines, limited jaw function, popping or clicking jaw joints, and/or pain in the head, neck, face, jaw, shoulders, and/or lower back. Some patients experience chronic earaches or ringing ears, and others notice a tingling sensation in their fingers. TMD pain ranges from mild to debilitating.
What is neuromuscular dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentistry is the study of how nerves, muscles, and teeth work together in harmony for optimal oral function. Disharmony of the system, such as having misaligned TMJs, can place stress on muscles nerves, which results in a long list of nagging symptoms.
What does the word mean? Neuro- comes from the Latin work nervus, which means “sinew, nerve, or determination.” In English, neuro- refers to the nervous system or nerves. Muscular, as it sounds, relates to muscles, and dentistry is a modernization of the Latin dens, which means tooth.
How will Dr. Conditt know if I have TMD, and what is the recommended TMJ treatment?
With a focus on neuromuscular principals, Forth Worth dentist Dr. Mitch Conditt uses advanced technology to diagnose and treat TMD. He’ll physically assess your mouth, teeth, and jaws, then discuss your symptoms. If he believes you may have TMD, he’ll proceed with TMJ treatment, if he believes that it is absolutely imperative, and you're not afraid to go the extra mile for your TMJ therapy. A TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical stimulation) emits gentle electronic pulse to relax facial muscles around the TMJ. The jaws are able to naturally find their proper, optimal position.
Then, the K7 records the precise position of the TMJs. The data is used to fabricate a custom oral appliance that you will wear as part of your TMJ treatment. When worn as directed, the oral appliance holds the jaw in proper position. In many cases, muscles reprogram to the correct position over time. Some patients wear the oral appliance indefinitely. This non-invasive TMJ treatment has relieved symptoms, including bruxism (teeth grinding), for many patients, eliminating the need for surgery.
As a former student and instructor at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, Dr. Mitch Conditt has an extensive understanding of neuromuscular dentistry. He will diagnose and address your TMD with minimally invasive TMJ treatment that can greatly improve your comfort and quality of life. Contact our Forth Worth dental office if you are in the Weatherford, Fort Worth or Aledo, Texas area and are currently suffering from any of the TMJ Disorder symptoms listed above. With the appropriate diagnosis and TMJ treatment, you can finally find relief!