Serving Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?
- Tooth pain that appears to migrate to different places in your mouth for no apparent reason
- A regular ringing in your ears
- A popping or clicking sound in your jaw
- Migraine headaches that do not respond well to normal migraine medications
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder. Known as TMJ for short, this disorder can cause a variety of symptoms and issues—including chronic and debilitating pain that impairs your ability to function on a daily basis.
If you do have TMJ or think you may be suffering from this disorder, then a neuromuscular dentist is the most qualified medical professional to provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Clinton Esler is an expert in neuromuscular dentistry and has years of experience both identifying cases of TMJ and providing patients with lasting relief from the symptoms of the disorder.
TMJ is a complicated disorder that often goes misdiagnosed. Here is some important background information about neuromuscular dentistry, and how a trained neuromuscular dentist is prepared to diagnose and treat TMJ.
What does a neuromuscular dentist do?
A neuromuscular dentist can fulfill any of the general dentistry needs you may have such as installing dental restorations. However, neuromuscular dentistry is a specialization of dental science that treats the entire system of hard and soft tissue that exists in your mouth. Specifically, neuromuscular dentistry focuses on the alignment of your bite and jaw—either finding the ideal alignment or restoring that alignment. A neuromuscular dentist can evaluate your mouth and jaw to detect any misalignment or other signs of damage.
Any neuromuscular dentist has undergone significant post-graduate education that goes far beyond what is learned in dental school.
Instead of focusing on the symptoms of a case of TMJ, such as the pain in the mouth or headaches, a neuromuscular dentist will focus on the cause—the dysfunction of the jaw itself—to make sure that those issues do not resurface.
At the Esler Dental Group, we strive to provide the highest level of care by using tools and technologies at the forefront of the dental field. Many of our most advanced tools can be used with patients who have neuromuscular needs.
Computerized tracking – Provides three-dimensional images of the jaw, neck, and joints, allowing a neuromuscular dentist to examine how the jaw opens and closes. One of the most helpful tracking tools for neuromuscular patients is conebeam, a diagnostic imaging technology system.
K-7 – A diagnostic system that combines electromyography and joint sonography, and is used to determine the ideal alignment of the bite and jaw in a patient. Electromyography measures activity in muscles when they are in motion and at rest. Electrosonography is used to detect any noises emanating from the jaw when it is in motion. These noises can be evidence of possible joint damage or misalignment of the jaw and bite.
T-Scan – A diagnostic tool that a neuromuscular dentist can use to produce a computerized image of the entire bite of a patient.
TENS unit – Short for transcutaneous electrical neurostimulation, TENS is used to relax the muscles of the jaw through a series of low-frequency electrical impulses.
If I have TMJ, why is it important to see a neuromuscular dentist?
TMJ will not go away by itself and, over time, will have an impact that can spread through your entire body. Issues with the temporomandibular joint quickly impact the jaw muscles, which subsequently can affect the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. One of the adjacent nerves is the trigeminal nerve, which delivers more sensory input to the brain than any neural pathway, and is the reason why significant pain is a commonly reported symptom in patients who suffer from TMJ. This pain often manifests in headaches that feel like migraines.
Click here to learn more about TMJ headaches, or find out more information on how TMJ headaches differ from migraines.
TMJ also can have the following ramifications:
- Teeth that become damaged or worn
- Pain in the neck or back
- Pinched nerves
- Misaligned vertebrae
- Tingling or numbness in extremities
Click here for a more comprehensive list of the symptoms of TMJ.
More than 10 million Americans suffer from some form of TMJ. Also, the term TMJ can refer to a wide variety of disorders stemming from a dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint or jaw joints. Many cases of TMJ are misdiagnosed or never properly identified because patients never seek out the care of a neuromuscular dentist. If you have been diagnosed with TMJ or think you may suffer from TMJ, obtain the lasting relief you have been hoping for from the Esler Dental Group. The first step is to contact our office at (806) 358-8021 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Esler.
The Esler Dental Group is proud to provide the finest level of oral care possible for patients in the areas of Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle.