Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry is a controversial topic in management of tmj disorders. The philosophy behind neuromuscular dentistry is that if the relationship between upper and bottom teeth is orthopedically stable, the neuromuscular status of the individual would be symptom free.

While in theory the concept has value, in reality there are a few caveats to it. First, orthopedics or mechanical instability tends to be one of several factors in the pathophysiology of chronic face, TMJ and head pain. Second, there is cutting edge technology to measure muscle activity and jaw position but this information has almost no diagnostic value; research has found that muscle activity and jaw position may be unusual (NOT NECESSARILY ABNORMAL) even in people who have absolutely no face, TMJ or head pain. Third, neuromuscular dentistry doesn't take into consideration the dynamic nature of the body (here the jaw and facial relationship). Structural imbalances in jaw relation could be adaptive in nature rather than a dysfunction.

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