Symptoms of Neuromuscular Dental Problems
Encinitas, Carlsbad, and San Diego
Neuromuscular dental problems, such as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), often go undiagnosed causing years of pain. Many of the symptoms do not seem to be related to your bite or teeth. Neuromuscular dentists understand the complex relationship between your muscles, joints and teeth and can determine if your pain is related to dental issues.
Common Symptoms of Neuromuscular Dental Problems
Some of the common symptoms of neuromuscular dental problems include:
- Migraine and tension headaches
- Tooth grinding or clenching
- Ringing in the ears
- Stuffy ears
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
- Neck pain
- Shoulder and back pain
- Postural problems
- Facial pain
- Jaw joint noise or clicking
- Locking jaw or limited opening
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Emotional issues
Constant tension in the muscles caused by a misaligned bite can cause muscle spasms and constrict blood vessels. This can result in tension and migraine headaches.
Posture, Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain
Different muscles are used to posture the jaw, open and close the jaw, and swallow. Normally our teeth at rest will be slightly apart. Our brain is programmed to do this automatically. If our teeth do not fit together properly, the muscles may accommodate to force the jaw together on a path that stresses or fatigues the muscles. Since the muscles of the head and neck are all involved in this process, pain may result in other areas of our body.
Tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers
A bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus is located between your neck and shoulder. That nerve bundle controls your arm, hand, and fingers. Tension and inflammation in those nerves can cause tingling and numbness down to your fingers.
Tooth grinding and clenching can cause sensitivity for several reasons. Cracks can appear in the enamel or in existing restorations that will transmit hot and cold impulses towards the nerve in the center of the tooth. Notches or abfraction defects can appear at the gum line from pressure applied at wrong angles on the tooth. Loss of tooth structure from grinding can cause sensitive areas to be exposed.
Chronic pain and poor sleep can cause emotional issues such as depression. Stress in your personal or professional life can also be factors resulting in habits such as tooth grinding. Additional health care providers besides your dentist may need to be consulted to resolve your pain issues.
Common Questions about TMJ
Relief from neuromuscular dental problems
Fortunately, many neuromuscular dental problems can be resolved with proper diagnosis and treatment.
Please contact us today to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Walsh-Cole.