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TMJ Treatment in Fort Lauderdale

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint. That’s the joint where your lower jaw (the mandible) meets your upper jaw, at the temporal bone of your skull. The acronym TMJ is also used to refer to pain or malfunction in this joint and for TMJ Jaw pain treatment, which is offered by many cosmetic dentists.

The TMJ has a disk or pad of cartilage between the mandible and the skull. This enables our bones to slide easily and with little friction so for most jaw movement, we feel no discomfort, even though when we bite something, we put a lot of force on that pad. Several muscles connect to this joint, contributing to the movement.

Neuromuscular dentistry

This is a kind of dentistry that treats not just teeth, but the muscles, nerves, and supporting structures of the mouth. Recent technology advances have allowed TMJ specialists to pinpoint more precisely where a patient’s muscles, teeth and jaw are best positioned.

Neuromuscular dentistry begins by finding the most relaxed position of the jaw muscles. To do this, a TENS unit is used (Transcutaneous Neural Stimulator), which emits a low-frequency electrical pulse. The muscles respond by relaxing so that the dentist can measure and study their activity more clearly. Next, the dentist makes an orthotic based on these measurements. This orthotic is worn for about 3 months. It ensures that your jaw will close to its optimal position, where the muscles are most relaxed and therefore won’t spasm. It also stabilizes your bite, helps the muscles to heal, and thus eliminates symptoms.

A neuromuscular dentist has other tools too, such as a sonograph (which measures the cracking sounds made by the jaw); and an electromyograph (which measures the electrical activity of your muscles). These tools allow the dentist to adjust placement of fillings and crowns very precisely, so that your teeth can more durable and more disease-resistant, and your jaws more relaxed. Keeping those muscles relaxed will protect your teeth from getting chipped, worn down, or broken.

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Are you experiencing TMJ Jaw pain and need professional care? Contact The Kodish Group to schedule an appointment to see a specialist about your TMJ Jaw pain today!