What Is a Neuromuscular Dentist?
A neuromuscular dentist is a dentist whose training and expertise go beyond a compartmentalized view of the mouth as simply teeth and gums to consider the entire system of muscles, nerves, and other tissues that contribute to the mouth’s function, appearance, and health. Neuromuscular dentistry acknowledges that teeth are only one crucial part of the chewing system, and the problems they manifest often have their cause elsewhere. For example, tooth decay can begin as tooth wear that create a harborage for food and bacteria, and that wear is increased when teeth do not fit together properly (malocclusion).
A neuromuscular dentist also acknowledges that the mouth is integrated with the body’s other systems and that problems in the mouth can cause far-reaching consequences that can be hard to trace back to their source. When your jaw is severely out of alignment (a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) it can put additional stress on nearby muscles that are responsible for maintaining the alignment of the cervical vertebrae. This can result in a misalignment in the entire spinal column and cause numbness and tingling as far away as the fingers and toes.
Misalignment of the jaw can also lead to stress headaches, sinus headaches, and even trigger migraines. Sometimes it can lead to pressure on the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensations, including pain sensations, between the face and the brain.
In short, a neuromuscular dentist is a detective who investigates subtle connection of nerves and muscles that bind your jaw with the rest of your body. To learn more about how a neuromuscular dentist can help you find relief from conditions other medical professionals cannot, please call or email Modern Dentistry Associates today to schedule your consultation.