Your temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw, and when this joint is misaligned, it causes unwanted responses in the nerves and muscles around the joint, creating a problem called TMJ syndrome.
Symptoms of this syndrome include teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), tinnitus, a clicking jaw, tooth sensitivity, migraines or persistent headaches, or feeling pain behind the eyes. The pain can even spread into your neck and shoulders or cause tingling in your fingertips. Neuromuscular dentistry is a way of treating and addressing the problems caused by TMJ syndrome.
Unfortunately, stress in general can be a contributing factor to TMJ but with Coronavirus always on the brain, stress is at an all-time high — and it may be causing pain in your jaw. Stress can make you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night — you may not even realize you’re doing it.
Treating TMJ with Neuromuscular Dentistry
One very effective way to treat TMJ issues is with night splints or corrective splints that are custom-made to fit over your teeth, preventing them from contacting while you sleep. A night splint can be extremely useful when treating problems like bruxism. Botox is another highly effective treatment because normal functions like chewing, swallowing and speaking are unaffected. Instead, jaw muscle activity is reduced, allowing these muscles to relax and reducing inflammation. Botox is administered using very fine injections, and the process is relatively pain-free and non-invasive. It usually takes several days to receive the full effects of treatment, and the results should last for several months before a top-up is needed.