Physiologic dentistry is the science of using the relaxed position of the muscles of the head and neck to place the jaw in the optimal physiological position for comfort and function. It's also used to find the optimal jaw position before restorative dentistry, which greatly increases the longevity of the restorations and effectively treat a TMJ condition. Dr. Tompkins has successfully treated TMJ patients with life-altering results. These techniques are also utilized to make superior sleep apnea appliances and enhance orthodontic procedures. Learn more by visiting our testimonials.
Dr. Tompkins uses an electrical impulse device on the muscles of your head and neck. This process, called TENS, relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow while flushing out toxins. It is not at all painful, although the patient may notice a slight tingling sensation. After approximately 60 minutes of stimulation your muscles will be relaxed and your jaw will be in its ideal, relaxed position. This information will be recorded and used to fabricate a daytime and separate nighttime orthotic. The orthotic will allow your jaw to close to this proper position, retraining associated muscles. Further treatment options include adjusting the teeth, placing restorations, and orthodontics or bite reconstruction to permanently place your bite where the orthotic was successful.
Most patients will wear a fixed or removable orthotic daily for approximately three to six months, during which time your bite becomes stabilized. With your bite stabilized in the optimal position, muscle activity diminishes, allowing the muscles to heal and alleviate painful symptoms. At this point some patients find they only have to wear the orthotic at night to relieve them of their TMJ pain, headaches, and facial pain.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Frequent headaches
- Pain or clicking and popping in joints
- Migraine headaches
- Pain behind the eyes
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Facial pain
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Ringing or congestion in the ears
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Numbness in arms and fingers