In principle, neuromuscular dentistry is simple and intuitive: teeth don’t function in isolation. A complex web of systems come together to ensure the proper function of the teeth, jaws, airway, and other components at the complex intersection at the base of the head. Neuromuscular dentistry is a dental perspective that looks at all these systems and tries to optimize the functions of all systems involved. In so doing, it can resolve many common conditions, including TMJ and sleep apnea.

If you are looking for a dentist with a broader perspective than just looking at your teeth, please call (703) 323-8200 today for an appointment with Fairfax County neuromuscular dentist Dr. Pamela Marzban in Burke, VA.

A middle aged woman with a headache may need to have neuromuscular dentistry from a dentist like Dr. Marzban in Burke Virginia

Neuromuscular Dentistry and Holistic Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry shares some perspectives in common with holistic dentistry, and the two disciplines have a fair amount of overlap.

Both disciplines look at the body as a whole biologic organism, not a mechanical assemblage. This means that components can’t be considered in isolation–they have to be seen as integrated with the body as a whole.

Both disciplines prioritize using the body’s natural healing mechanisms first–less invasive treatments are best.

Neuromuscular dentistry recognizes, though, that when dysfunction exists, the body’s natural adaptation mechanisms can sometimes lead to harmful distortions of the body’s proper function, distortions that can lead to additional damage and dysfunction.

Neuromuscular dentistry also recognizes the powerful role that muscles play in the jaw system, for shaping, controlling, and potentially damaging other components.

Neuromuscular dentists focus on the need for scientific diagnosis that guides treatment. This scientific diagnosis is facilitated by the use of advanced measurement tools that give us a complete picture of the jaw’s health. Not all holistic dentists prioritize scientific diagnosis and treatment.

Neuromuscular Dentistry Treats TMJ

One of the most common disorders treated by neuromuscular dentistry is TMJ, temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMD or sometimes TMJD.

In TMJ, an imbalance in the jaw joint causes disruption in the function of the jaw joint, which not only causes jaw-related symptoms, but can spread dysfunction through the body via the close working relationship between jaw muscles and others in the area.

Utilizing a suite of advanced diagnostic equipment, neuromuscular dentistry identifies the precise source of the TMJ and designs a minimally invasive treatment to resolve symptoms.

Neuromuscular Dentistry Treats Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Your airway depends on the proper development and function of your jaw. A jaw that is poorly developed or that can’t maintain a healthy position can lead to a narrow or constricted airway. This makes it hard to breathe properly, especially at night when lie down and your muscles relax, letting gravity pull the airway down.

When the airway gets narrowed, you experience snoring. When the airway closes completely, it stops your breathing–this is called sleep apnea.

Because your airway depends on your jaw for support, ensuring a proper position for your jaw helps keep your airway open. It is not a coincidence that oral appliances for sleep apnea are similar to those used to treat TMJ.

Myofunctional Therapy and Neuromuscular Dentistry

Myofunctional therapy is a technique that grows out of neuromuscular dentistry. Recognizing the crucial role that muscular function plays in the development of the jaw, myofunctional therapy seeks to change the habitual motions and postures of the jaw, tongue, lips, and other components of the jaw system. Through guided exercises and cultivating healthy habits, myofunctional therapy improves the shape and position of your jaw, improving function.

As a result, myofunctional therapy can treat TMJ, sleep apnea, orthodontic problems, and more.

Are You Looking for a Neuromuscular Dentist?

If jaw dysfunction is affecting your health, a neuromuscular dentist can help. In Fairfax County, please call 703-323-8200 today for an appointment with Dr. Pamela Marzban in Burke, VA.