Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Would you like to find out the cause of your chronic pain? Do you have a long history of pain symptoms? Have you seen multiple doctors to find relief and still in pain? You might have an imbalance in the relationship between your posture, the muscles of the head and neck, jaw joints and the way the teeth fit together (bite/occlusion). If any part of this system is misaligned, it can throw the whole system out of balance and cause pain.
Do you suffer from any of these signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder?
- Headaches or migraines
- Facial, neck, shoulder or back pain
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw joint
- Jaw pain
- Limited mouth opening
- Worn, chipped or cracked teeth
- Ear congestion
- Ringing in the ears
- Clenching or grinding
- Tingling or numbness of the fingertips & arms
- Hot & cold sensitivity of teeth
Have you ever thought it could be related to your bite?
With state-of-the-art technology and the unique and sophisticated techniques of Neuromuscular Dentistry, Dr. Cook can rehabilitate the muscles that are causing headaches, neck and shoulder aches, TMJ and facial pain, restoring your bite to its optimal position, giving you back a confident smile and healthy teeth for life. Dr. Cook uses drug-free and non-invasive corrective treatments to eliminate the pain and other TMJ symptoms.
TMJ Tension Headaches and Migraine Headaches are some of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder.
What causes TMJ disorder?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joints on either side of the jaw. Chronic pain in the face, jaw, head or neck is referred to as TMJ/TMD or Temporomandibular joint disorder. The most common cause of TMJ is a bad bite or “malocclusion”. When the teeth do not fit together properly, the alignment of the jaw changes and the muscles are forced into a strained position causing pain. With a bad jaw alignment, the position and alignment of the head is also affected causing misalignment and pain in the face, neck, arms, shoulders and back. With orthodontic treatment you may correct crowded teeth, but the muscles still may be uncomfortable and the patient may still have jaw pain, headaches, neck aches, shoulder aches and back pain.
What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
Neuromuscular dentistry is a very specific area of dentistry dedicated to achieving harmony in the relationship between posture, muscles of the head and neck, jaw joints and the way the teeth fit together (occlusion). If any part of the system is misaligned, it can throw the whole system out of balance and cause pain.
How can Neuromuscular Dentistry help you?
Neuromuscular dentistry serves to correct the bite and realign the jaw, placing the jaw into its optimal position. With a complete dental, head and neck examination, and a neuromuscular TMJ exam, Dr. Cook will diagnose and rule out if your bite is the cause of your condition or pain. Dr. Cook and her team trained at LVI, Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, the world’s premier learning center for neuromuscular dentistry.
How can TMJ be treated?
We use the Biopak evaluation system, the latest technology for accurate diagnosis and treatment, which includes computerized mandibular scanning (jaw tracking), and electromyography of the face, head and neck muscles. This highly sophisticated technology allows us to scientifically evaluate your bite and determine the correct position to place the teeth so the muscles remain relaxed therefore eliminating discomfort or pain.
EMG – Electromyography Measures the muscle activity, in the face, head and neck.
CMS – Computerized Mandibular Scanning tracks the movement of the jaw in three dimensions
These procedures used for the diagnosis of neuromuscular problems and evaluation of the jaw joint (TMJ) function, are non- invasive and are designed to be comfortable for the patient.
Using computerized mandibular scanning and jaw tracking Dr. Cook can measure the most relaxed position of the jaw and find the ideal position where the teeth, muscles and joints are in harmony. A custom made orthotic appliance will then be fabricated and used to stabilize your new bite, decompress the TMJ joints and maintain the new jaw position. After the bite is realigned in its optimal position, pain will usually disappear.
You wear the appliance for a prescribed period of time to verify that this new jaw position solves or reduces the problem. If it does, it has proven that the imperfect bite was the cause of the problem and you may elect to go on, and have your natural teeth treated to permanently maintain that new bite position. Every person responds differently to orthotic therapy, depending on the severity of the TMD symptoms. Some people find that their symptoms resolve instantly. Others find it may take weeks or months before their symptoms resolve, however the vast majority will experience an improvement in their TMD symptoms.
We use ultra low-frequency TENS (Trancutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) to relax the face and neck muscles. This stimulation improves blood and oxygen supply to the fatigued and contracted muscles, flushing out the toxins and relaxing the muscles to their optimal length for maximum efficiency. Most patients find the treatment very relaxing and fall asleep.
We use the T-Scan, the latest digital technology to diagnose bite problems and to balance the bite. The T-scan is a diagnostic device that records the patient’s bite force, timing and location.
This patient had TMJ problems caused by an overclosed, collapsed bite. She was suffering from frequent, severe headaches and neck pain. Due to years of grinding and clenching, she lost tooth height and vertical dimension of the bite. The lower third of her face was also shortened due to the collapsed bite. Her jaw was first realigned with a neuromuscular orthotic and later her bite was corrected using neuromuscular dentistry techniques. With a combination of porcelain crowns and veneers, we were able to restore her bite to the ideal position and the pain disappeared. We restored the loss of vertical dimension, corrected the bite, the gaps, the size and cant of the teeth. Having a “Smile Lift” rejuvenated her facial appearance without the need of surgery.