Neuromuscular Orthodontics is the placement of appliances and/or brackets with consideration of all factors that impact how you chew, the alignment of teeth when biting. The Neuromuscular dentist studies your mouth from the various perspectives, concentrating on the interaction of the facial muscles with joints and bones of your jaw, the position of your teeth, and your airway. This is so that when the braces are placed, the end result will be an optimal bite, reducing the chance for relapse with physiologic stability. At Authentic Smiles in Austin, TX, we provide our patients with Neuromuscular Orthodontics for our patients who are struggling with TMJ/TMD and are in need of treatment.
Our teeth are an important part of the body as a whole:
- Teeth are surrounded by muscles of the cheeks and tongue.
- Muscles are constantly at work which exerts pressure on the teeth.
- Muscle forces can affect facial development, tooth alignment and head posture.
- Excessive mouth breathing causes the tongue to exert abnormal pressure on the teeth which often causes the front teeth to move outward, causing an open bite.
- A restricted airway in a young person can contribute to a narrowed dental arch and crowding of the teeth.
- Many factors cause muscle forces that adversely affect a person’s bite.
We will evaluate and study each patient with photographs and x-rays for a complete skeletal and facial analysis. Knowing how your teeth, muscles and joints work together, we position the jaw in its proper physiologic rest position. Patients who are suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) will require further tests which include Low Frequency TENS and the K-7 Study, which includes electromyography, jaw tracking, range of motion study and joint sonography. We do this to achieve relaxation of facial and masticatory muscles and to determine the ideal jaw position. When the correct position of the jaw is determined, the appliances are placed accordingly.