Headaches, Migraines TMJ/Joint/Ear Pain, Dentistry Bergen County NJ
Dr. John Sousa has the highest level of accreditation and expertise in treating patients with chronic head and neck pain.. He has been an active member of the prestigious American Academy of Craniofacial Pain for over 15 years. His knowledge and expertise in combining cosmetic, restorative and orthodontic procedures with the rehabilitation of TMJ disorders, are a free consultation away. Dr. Sousa and his dedicated Team want to welcome you to a truly comprehensive TMJ pain, Miraine/Headache practice. Come tell us what we can do for you!
Neuromuscular Dentistry differs from "traditional" dentistry in the emphasis that is placed upon the health of the jaw joints and the activity of the muscles that move the jaw. Unlike neuromuscular dentistry, traditional dentistry uses the position of the jaw established when all the biting surfaces of the teeth come together as a reference point to restore teeth. Neuromuscular Dentistry dictates that nerves and muscles determine a relaxed, comfortable, stress free jaw position - not the interlocking of teeth. Muscles always win!
Neuromuscular Dentistry recognizes the importance of having a balanced and stable jaw position before restoring teeth. It creates, stabilizes and maintains a harmonious relationship among the teeth, jaw joints, head and neck muscles. The complex system of teeth, muscles and joints must function without stress, strain or tension. Stress causes fatigue and pain.
Over time, when teeth, joints and muscles are in conflict, resulting symptoms can occur.
- Clenching or grinding
- Pain, clicking and popping in joints
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Loose teeth
- Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth and fillings
- Numbness in arms and fingers
- Ringing or congestion in the ears
- Pain behind the eyes
- Facial pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain and sensitivity in teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Periodontal disease
The first goal of Neuromuscular Dentistry is to find the position of the jaw where the muscles are relaxed. This three dimensional position is often very different than the stressful position in which your teeth have held your jaw for many years. With the principles and techniques of Neuromuscular Dentistry, we can help you achieve a more comfortable and healthier smile.
A harmonious bite
In a balanced bite, the teeth, jaw joints, and muscles can work together without strain or tension. The biting surfaces of upper and lower teeth fir together neatly, and the jaw joints work smoothly. The muscles on both sides of the face are relaxed when you are not chewing or swallowing, and when you do chew and swallow, these muscles contract evenly to bring the teeth together.
A problem bite
When there’s a problem with the bite, upper and lower teeth do not come together correctly. A problem bite often exists when teeth are missing, misaligned, or worn down. In this situation, the muscles must use extra force, and the jaw joints often shift position in order to bring the teeth together. And when you are not chewing, your jaw muscles may not fully relax, even though they may feel normal to you.
Over time, this can cause the muscles and joints to become sore, tired, and stiff. A bad bite, together with tense, strained muscles, can lead to a variety of problems, such as headaches, muscle pain, damage to the teeth or jaw joint, clicking and popping, and other symptoms. It can also shorten the life of crowns, veneers, and other dental restorations through damage or excess wear.
Diagnosis and treatment
When we are planning your dental treatment, we’ll use specialized advanced equipment to identify the problems in the muscles, jaw joints, and bite. If we do find any problems, we may recommend treatments to stabilize your bite. With the techniques and technologies of neuromuscular dentistry, we can help you achieve a healthier bite, and more comfortable muscles and jaw joints.