Kaufman Dental Associates

neuromuscular dentistry

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Neuromuscular/Physiological dentistry is a scientifically based approach to dentistry which considers and evaluates the relationship between the teeth, the jaw joints, and the jaw muscles. This intuitive approach focuses on creating harmony within the system in order to achieve a bite which corresponds to an optimal physiological position for the lower jaw as it relates to the skull. Ultimately, the focus is to determine the position for the jaw where it is most relaxed. This approach utilizes a scientific method for proper tooth positioning and muscle assessment. I consider all systems and symptoms of the body when evaluating problems with the jaws and teeth.

TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction)


 -TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction)-

Commonly referred to as TMJ, pain of the jaw joint(s) and muscle(s) affects millions of people in our country. What most patients don’t know is that the relationship between the upper and lower teeth (the bite) is what determines the position of our jaw joints. An incorrect bite does not allow proper function among the varying groups of muscles which control our lower jaw movements. With time, these muscle groups and the jaw joints become overworked in trying to maintain the forced position which has been dictated by an inadequate bite. If the bite is not corrected, muscles and joints remain strained for lengthy periods of time. The resulting poor circulation/blood flow and oxygen deprivation may lead to pain. Common symptoms of TMJ/ TMD include but are not limited to:

  • Tooth pain or sensitivity

  • Tooth pain which moves around the mouth Grinding of teeth

  • Ear pain

  • Feeling of fullness in the ear Loose teeth

  • Clicking/crackling jaw noises Neck pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Worn down teeth

  • Forward head posturing

  • Headaches and/or Migraines

  • Jaw pain or stiffness

  • Tired jaw during chewing

  • Tooth pain or sensitivity

  • Tooth pain which moves around the mouth

  • Grinding of teeth

  • Tired jaw during chewing




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-Benefits of Neuromuscular Dentistry-

Neuromuscular dentistry is so much more than the treatment teeth. This comprehensive style of care resolves long standing discomfort of the teeth, jaw, and muscles. The vast improvement in symptoms like migraines, fibromyalgia, and teeth grinding are just a few examples of how we improve the quality of life for so many of our patients. In addition to feeling more relaxed and comfortable with your bite, a physiological approach also produces a more attractive smile. Upon relaxation, the position of the lower jaw is typically lower and more forward than its original position. This translates into a more well defined jaw and the reduction of wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. Our patients appreciate these youthful improvements to the appearance of their entire smile, not just their teeth.


-What is involved with neuromuscular dentistry?-

Your first visit involves a detailed history of symptoms and previous treatment. Dr. Kaufman will consider all factors which may be involved in contributing to your discomfort. Afterwards, a thorough evaluation of your jaw muscle activity will be completed using manual palpation and electromyography. A sophisticated computer called the Biopack, created by Bioresearch, allows Dr. Kaufman to identify concerns with each jaw muscle group. In doing so, she will determine a more comfortable and functional jaw position. A TENS unit will be utilized to relax the jaw muscles and to allow the jaw joints an opportunity to decompress. After TENSing, Dr. Kaufman relies on her training and technology to guide your jaw into its most relaxed position. Using models of your teeth and a registration of your most relaxed jaw position, Dr Kaufman works closely with top neuromuscular laboratories to fabricate an orthotic to fit over your natural teeth. The purpose of this physiological orthotic is to retrain your jaw and your brain to a more relaxed bite - a process which takes several months of time. Once achieved, Dr. Kaufman will evaluate your symptoms and discuss treatment options to further stabilize your condition.

 Neuromuscular dentistry

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