Neuromuscular Dentistry: TMJ/TMD

Fresno Dentist Serving Madera, Clovis, Visalia, Tulare & Nearby Areas in California

Fresno TMD TreatmentWhen you think about your dental health, chances are you focus primarily on the appearance and function of your teeth. However, a comprehensive dentist who is trained in the science of neuromuscular dentistry knows that optimal oral health also involves the correct alignment of your jaw joints – specifically, the temporomandibular joints.

TMJ, alternately known as TMD, refers to any disorder resulting in the misalignment of the temporomandibular joint. This joint is responsible for all of the movement of your jaw and even slight misalignment can result in symptoms such as clicking, popping, or grinding noises when opening and shutting the mouth. These symptoms are often the first indication of a potentially serious problem with your temporomandibular joint, and should be brought to the attention of Fresno neuromuscular dentist Dr. Gregory Miyake as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing noises in the jaw when biting or chewing, please contact Gregory G. Miyake, DDS online or by calling our Northern California dental office at 559-224-0103 today to schedule a neuromuscular dentistry evaluation.

About Dr. Miyake’s Neuromuscular Dentistry Education

Your ability to eat, chew, and speak is due to the collaborative process between your jaw joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If your joints are not properly aligned, the rest of these tissues are thrown out of order, resulting in a common condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This condition can not only threaten your dental health by throwing your bite out of alignment, it can also cause a wide range of symptoms throughout your entire body.

Our Fresno dentist studied neuromuscular dentistry and the treatment of TMD at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), an institution that is respected for its progressive education and research efforts in the field of neuromuscular dentistry. If there are any neuromuscular issues affecting your health, Dr. Miyake and his team can address them through a variety of treatments, ranging from custom oral appliances to simple lifestyle changes and jaw exercises. The best way to determine if a neuromuscular dental treatment would be beneficial for you is by calling our office at 559-224-0103 to schedule a consultation and evaluation of your symptoms.

Symptoms of TMD/TMJ

TMJ Symptoms in FresnoMisalignment of the jaw can strain muscles and place pressure on nerves that run through and around the temporomandibular joint. This is why the most common symptoms of TMJ are pain and/or swelling around the jaw joint. In addition to pain and swelling, common indications of a neuromuscular dental disorder include:

  • Clicking or popping noises when you bite or chew
  • Grinding noises when you chew or speak
  • Difficulties opening and closing the jaw

TMJ may limit your jaw’s mobility or result in complete lockjaw. It can also produce symptoms that do not seem to be related to neuromuscular dental issues. Some of these include:

  • Migraine or tension-style headaches
  • Ear ringing and dizziness
  • Ear and nasal pain without the presence of infection
  • Generalized facial pain
  • Pressure behind the eyes and vision disruption
  • Neck, shoulder, and backaches

When left untreated, TMJ can result in other oral health issues, such as uneven tooth wear and changes to the tension of your bite. It can also result in systemic issues like postural changes, chronic pain, and digestive problems. To avoid these and other issues, it is best to visit our Fresno office for TMD treatment at the first sign of jaw misalignment. Prompt treatment can help prevent future problems and put an end to existing symptoms within just a few short weeks.

Understanding the Trigeminal Nerve

The trigeminal nerve is responsible for most of the sensations in the face. It is also responsible for controlling the muscles of mastication (chewing). Running through the jaw, pressure placed on the trigeminal nerve from misalignment can send pain sensations to the eyes, the mouth, and throughout the head. These pain sensations can be debilitating, yet TMJ is frequently overlooked as a cause of chronic headaches and facial pain by many medical practitioners.

If you have struggled with chronic headaches or generalized facial pain and failed to find a lasting solution, it is well past time to discuss treatment options with Fresno neuromuscular dentist Dr. Gregory Miyake. Utilizing advanced diagnostic technology, Dr. Miyake can determine if the underlying cause of your discomfort is misalignment in the jaw and, from there, customize a treatment option that restores alignment for lasting relief. By addressing the root cause of pain, TMJ treatment provides lasting pain relief without the need for potentially dangerous medications, allowing for optimal comfort without many of the risks associated with traditional headache treatments.

Not all headaches or facial pains are caused by TMJ, but the American Association of Craniofacial Pain suggests this common condition is among the most overlooked when it comes to the chronic variety. If you struggle with frequent and intense headaches or facial pain, Dr. Miyake is here to customize a treatment solution and help you find lasting comfort.

Diagnosing and Treating TMJ

Diagnosing TMD in FresnoDr. Miyake utilizes advanced neuromuscular dentistry technology to diagnose TMJ. Even when the disorder is currently asymptomatic, Dr. Miyake may suggest advanced diagnostics based on hands-on evaluations during your routine dental examinations.

Diagnostic tools used by Dr. Miyake include electromyography with the Myotronics K-7, a device which uses electromyography to measure the jaw muscles’ electrical activity, along with sonography, a measuring tool for jaw joint sounds. All of this information is used to pinpoint the functional problems of your jaw and find its ideal position. If TMJ is present, Dr. Miyake will work to identify its cause before recommending the appropriate treatment.

Dr. Miyake’s goal with TMD/TMJ treatment is to return the jaw to its optimal rest position to resolve the stress that is causing your symptoms. To accomplish this, our Fresno neuromuscular dentist may utilize a number of methods including:

  • TENS therapy for muscle relaxation and nonmedicinal pain relief
  • Customized mouthguards or oral splints to prevent bruxism and retrain muscles while you sleep
  • Dental restorations to address bite tension and tooth weakness
  • Orthodontics to correct bite irregularities

Dr. Miyake may also recommend stress reduction techniques, jaw massage, and other at-home remedies that can bolster the efficacy of professional treatment. What will best serve your needs can be determined during your neuromuscular evaluation.

Contact Our Fresno Neuromuscular Dentist

If you are suffering any of the symptoms of TMD, please call 559-224-0103 to schedule a neuromuscular evaluation with our experience Fresno dentist. Dr. Miyake serves Clovis, Tulare, Madera, and surrounding Northern California communities from our centrally located Fresno dental office.