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Questions about Neuromuscular Dentistry

What is neuromuscular dentistry?

Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialization dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Disorders of the temporomandibular joint are highly complex and require extensive knowledge of the nervous and muscular systems that both control and are affected by the temporomandibular joints themselves.

Is there a difference between a neuromuscular dentist and a general dentist?

Yes. It is important to note that most general dentists do not have neuromuscular dentistry training. Most four-year general dental schools do not provide this training. Dr. Firouzi has completed extensive post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), the world’s premier post-graduate neuromuscular and cosmetic dentistry training facility.

There is a great deal of confusion over this issue, particularly with our new TMD patients. The chief purpose of orthodontic braces is to straighten the teeth. While this does correct many bite problems, it does not necessarily correct all of them. In other words, your braces may have given you perfectly straight teeth while leaving you with a misaligned bite.

I am experiencing some of the symptoms of TMD, but they are not enough to disrupt my day-to-day routine. Should I worry about seeking treatment?

TMD is a tricky disorder. It can go on for years before the symptoms are severe enough to cause any significant pain. By the time most TMD patients do seek treatment, several of the principal symptoms are present and causing multiple points of discomfort. Like any disorder or disease, TMD is best caught early and treated early in order to prevent more serious problems in the future.

What are some things I can do at home to help my TMD?

Over-the-counter pain relievers, moist heat, and eating soft foods can help ease the pain of a TMD flare-up. Avoid stimulants such as caffeinated drinks or tobacco. Stretching and other relaxation techniques can also be very helpful. If you are experiencing any significant pain, you should get examined by an experienced neuromuscular dentist.