TMD Treatment Options

Utilizing the principles of neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Adams uses sophisticated neuromuscular diagnostic instrumentation to record your jaw position, measure the activity of your jaw and facial muscles at rest and in function and record any sounds your jaw joints may be making as you open and close your mouth.

The next step is to relax the facial and upper cervical (neck) muscles. Dr. Adams will do this using a TENS unit. The TENS unit (J5 Myomonitor), will relax these muscles using mild electrical stimulation. Once a state of relaxation has been reached, (typically after aboutJ503 one hour of TENSing in a massage chair) your jaw will be in a position called physiologic rest. This is a very important position because it allows the muscles to shift from an anaerobic, fatigue, lactic acid producing state to a relaxed, very energy efficient aerobic state. This aerobic state allows the muscles to function at a comfortable, physiologic resting length. This is critical to bring the teeth, joints, and muscles into a state of harmony or equilibrium eliminating the spastic muscle pain cycle.

From this position of physiologic rest, Dr. Adams will determine a new closing path for your jaw called a neuromuscular trajectory. Along with this neuromuscular trajectory, he will establish a new muscle comfortable bite that corrects the malocclusion.

In order for your muscles and joints to learn and adapt this new occlusion, Dr. Adams will create an anatomical orthosis for you. An anatomical orthosis is a removable plastic mouthpiece worn over the lower teeth. The orthosis allows the jaw to be orthopedically aligned to function at this new physiologically established neuromuscular position.

With an orthosis, nothing is done to permanently alter your teeth or your bite. The objective is to provide relief, eliminate or reduce pain and to assess the effectiveness of your new neuromuscular position (bite). It is not unusual to experience dramatic relief from your TMD symptoms within 24-48 hours of wearing your neuromuscular anatomical orthosis. When you are comfortable and we have determined that your new neuromuscular bite is stable, he will discuss several “Phase Two” treatment plans that you may wish to consider for a permanent solution to your TMD problem. Dr. Adams will discuss with you these various options to help you determine what solution will be best for you.