You might wonder what muscles have to do with dentistry. How your teeth fit together (occlusion) affects the muscles of your upper body. The muscles controlling your jaw are programmed by the brain to go where the teeth fit most comfortably. When these chewing muscles shorten and tighten, they become fatigued and do not work as efficiently as they should, which means that other muscles in the neck, head, and shoulders have to assist with these functions. This imbalance brings the head forward and stresses the neck.
At the same time, your jaw joints, or TMJ, may get out of sync. If the TMJ don’t work properly, the associated nerves and muscles are put under extra pressure. Symptoms of TMJ dysfunction may include:
To relieve your TMJ symptoms, the dentist will first evaluate the mobility and function of your jaw, head, and neck by taking measurements and assessing the muscles. After we complete a thorough medical history, Dr. Hornstein will review treatment options. Non-surgical therapy may involve wearing an orthotic device, neuromuscular massage, use of a TENS unit to provide symptomatic relief of the pain and headaches, and referral to other medical and dental specialists if needed.
The Center for Advanced Dentistry…Where Holistic Health and Aesthetic Dentistry Come Together.
Call our Beachwood dental office to make an appointment with Dr. Hornstein. We serve residents from Cleveland, Solon, Shaker Heights, Pepper Pike, and the surrounding areas.