TMJ / Neuromuscular Dentistry
Springfield, Chicopee, Longmeadow, West Springfield, Westfield, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Wilbraham, MA
If you suffer from recurring headaches, or have frequent jaw pain, earaches, or a teeth grinding habit, you could benefit by seeing a neuromuscular dentist. Those problems are among the many symptoms of a misaligned jaw – a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD or TMJ).
TMD/TMJ is a little-known condition and although many people suffer from it, most do not realize it. They do not know what is causing their chronic pain and discomfort. The TMD headaches can be very severe and migraine-like, and you might visit a sequence of doctors in search of a remedy. Many such people come to us after using a series of painkillers for years but never receiving an explanation of their headache cause.
A general dentist and a cosmetic dentist do not necessarily have training in neuromuscular dentistry. It is not taught in most dental schools. To become a qualified neuromuscular dentist, a general dentist must complete rigorous post-graduate training, both theoretical and hands-on.
Baystate Dental has an array of dentists, some practicing general dentistry, some cosmetic dentistry, and some neuromuscular dentistry. Some are both cosmetic and neuromuscular, such as Dr. Haluch and Dr. Coughlin.
Working on Your Bite
A general dentist looks at your teeth and gums and responds to problems like cavities or loose teeth. General dentistry provides full basic dentistry services, which is all that some people need.
A neuromuscular dentist works on the teeth and gums, but also on your bite – occlusion, to use the dental term. How does your jaw move? Do you feel any discomfort or limitation in the way it opens and closes your mouth? The bite is a three-point mechanism with the two jaw joints and the chin. If you place a finger in front of one ear and open your mouth, you can feel the jaw joint working.
Your bite includes the jaw joints, jaw muscles, and the nerves and blood vessels servicing those structures. When a neuromuscular dentist gives you a tooth crown or a white filling, he does so with your bite in mind. This is more than just making sure than the restored tooth will meet its opposite neighbor smoothly. Misaligned teeth or a poorly done tooth crown could be the cause of TMD. They could be preventing your mouth from closing correctly and this would build up muscle strain in the face, neck, and shoulders.
Please see our TMD page for more information on its symptoms and treatment.
TMD (TMJ) has a cluster of subjective symptoms you can feel and objective signs that your neuromuscular dentist can identify. TMD can be accurately diagnosed by a neuromuscular dentist using special technology and comprehensive dental knowledge. If you have been suffering from migraine-like headaches or if you have other unexplained pain, the pain will be relieved right in the diagnostic procedure. Diagnosis will discover your correct jaw position, and from there, your treatment can be designed to make it permanent.
You can read more on Questions About TMJ Disorder.
If you would like to learn more about TMD, and whether it might be causing your discomfort or pain, please contact our neuromuscular dentists for a neuromuscular consultation. We have offices in West Springfield, Wilbraham, and Longmeadow, Massachusetts, to serve you.
- Wonderful staff and a doctor who walked me through it all step by step, along with a great assistant, Kate S.! Thank you! I'll be back for my crown soon.
- Yelena Z., Southwick, MA
- Your Doctors and staff show a genuine concern for your patients' comfort and well being. Everyone is professional as well as personable.
- Allan, Westfield, MA
- Baystate Dental has given me the confidence in myself to seek treatment without shame and provided me with constant encouragement to come back, fully dressed with my smile, in order to make my smile the best it can be. - Samantha P., Brockton, MA
- I can finally smile now without any broken teeth. It is a great feeling to go for my cleaning and not need anything else!
- Lisa C., Belchertown, MA
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- Paul P., Springfield, MA
- I really can't say "thank you" enough to everyone there but what I can say is I am a proud patient of Baystate Dental and always will be.
- Sara S., Ludlow, MA
- When I found Baystate Dental PC, it was like hitting the jackpot! I have never experienced such great care, compassion and excellent customer service!
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- The preparation, time, knowledge and caring that I received at Baystate Dental was extraordinary and very promising.
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- Mark K., West Springfield, MA
- I just want to thank you and your staff for one of the best dental visits we have ever experienced with our children ever!
- Guy and Krystle M.
- Dr. Coughlin helped me get through it. So then I could enjoy the holidays. Thank you Dr. Coughlin and Baystate Dental!
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