2322 196th St. SW, Suite 201 Lynnwood, WA 98036  |  Call Us Today! 206-316-8286

End TMJ Head, Neck and Jaw Pain with Neuromuscular Dentistry


Call Us Today! 206-316-8286

What is TMJ?

TMJ Symptoms

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Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD), is a term used to describe a group of symptoms including headaches; facial pain; jaw pain; sore, chipped, broken, or worn teeth, clicking or popping in the jaw, and limited jaw movement. In many cases people suffering from TMJ/TMD report chronic pain in the jaw, teeth, face, head, neck, shoulders, or back, or any combination of these areas. Snoring, grinding of teeth, frequent ear infections and restricted airway are other problems associated with TMJ/TMD.

This group of symptoms is also referred to as MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction) and craniomandibular dysfunction.Who Suffers From TMJ?The majority of people suffer to a greater or lesser degree from TMJ. Although women report more pain from TMJ, TMJ in men causes as much or more damage to the teeth, gums, bones and joints. Children are especially sensitive to TMJ and usually show early signs with ear infections, leaning their head on an arm, lip, cheek, or finger biting, sucking or chewing, headaches, snoring, grinding of their teeth at night, and significant chewing of gum.

TMJ stands for "temporomandibular joint," or jaw joint. These are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw to the skull, and happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body. The area of the face where the TMJ is located is an intricate network of bones, including the teeth, muscles, and nerves. Because of this, TMJ (dysfunction) conditions affect many areas of the body, from the top of the head in migraine-like headaches to numbness or tingling in the arms and pain in the neck or shoulders.

In most cases, TMJ disorders stem from a condition called malocclusion, which means having a "bad bite". Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way—they are misaligned often as the result of accidents and trauma. This includes underbites and overbites. When the teeth are misaligned, they cannot provide the support the muscles in the face need for chewing and swallowing. These muscles are then forced into a strained position, resulting in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back. Although a person may have beautiful teeth or had orthodontics to line the teeth up for aesthetic reasons, the muscles and joints may not be comfortable.

Neuromuscular dentists first measure the most relaxed position of your jaw to determine the goal for normal jaw positioning. Then the dentist works to realign the bite and restore the teeth and thus the jaw and joints to their optimal position. Once the bite is realigned and the jaw is in place, pain that resulted from the imbalance disappears.

TMD Screening Consultation

TMD Head, Neck Pain Exam and Workup

How TMJ Dentists Detect, Diagnose and Treat Symptoms

How Can TMJ Be Treated?

Neuromuscular dentists first measure the most relaxed position of your jaw to determine the goal for normal jaw positioning. Then the dentist works to realign the bite and restore the teeth and thus the jaw and joints to their optimal position. Once the bite is realigned and the jaw is in place, pain that resulted from the imbalance disappears.

What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

To put it simply, neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ. While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard tissues and the soft tissues, muscles and nerves. Dr Buck understands that your hard and soft tissues have a complex relationship and works to make that relationship a harmonious one. Neuromuscular dentistss understand the necessity for including the power source (muscles) and the controls (nerves) that create the movement, pressures, and function of the mouth. When the jaw is misaligned, both the hard and soft tissues are affected and many physiological problems can result, such as headaches, jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain, tinnitus or ringing in the ears, and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint. In a number of cases, these symptoms are the result of TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) or MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction). TMJ is a chronic degenerative disease that often takes years to develop. TMJ affects millions of people. People who suffer from TMJ have an imbalance in the jaw-to-skull relationship, which is caused by a bad bite (malocclusion).

Neuromuscular Dentistry serves to correct the bite and realign the jaw. First Dr. Buck determines the optimal position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, and then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements. Malocclusion is relatively easy to correct. Treatment options include adjusting the bite, orthotics, orthodontics, or restoring the teeth to their correct positions.Benefits:Patients of neuromuscular dentistry experience a range of benefits from decreased or eliminated pain and discomfort to better overall health and longer-lasting dental restorations.

How Do Neuromuscular Dentists Diagnose and Treat Symptoms?

TMJ / TMD Diagnosis

Neuromuscular dentistss use state-of-the-art technology to determine if your symptoms are caused by malocclusion and if so, what your optimal jaw position is. The dentist uses computerized jaw tracking instruments to record jaw movement, resting position, and path of closure. Electromyography is used to measure your jaw's muscle function in both its stressed and relaxed positions, and will also measure the jaw-to-skull relationship to see if there is a structural imbalance. Sonography is used to record jaw joint sounds to detect any abnormalities. Additionally, x-rays of the jaw may be taken to help evaluate the condition and positioning of the joint.

TMJ / TMD Treatment

Once your neuromuscular dentists has diagnosed you with TMJ, he or she can determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. Typically treatment will follow three steps:

1. Relieve muscle spasm and pain.

The immediate concern for Neuromuscular dentistss is to provide relief of your symptoms. The best way to do this is by using a technology called ULF-TENS. ULF-TENS stands for Ultra Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation, but don't let this term intimidate you. Basically, ULF-TENS is a way to relax muscles with a gentle massage of the muscles. The rhythmic pulsing relaxes the muscles by increasing blood flow and pumping out waste products. ULF-TENS also helps with pain relief by stimulating the body's production of endorphins, the body's natural anesthetic.

2. Stabilize the bite.

Often for this step a temporary device, known as an orthotic is worn over the teeth. The orthotic allows your neuromuscular dentists to make easy adjustments to the plastic without adjusting the teeth until the bite is stabilized. Once symptoms are relieved and the bite has been stabilized, your dentist will move on to the next step and permanently adjust your bite to the correct position.

3. Long-term management.

There are a variety of ways to correct your bite in a more permanent way. Four of the most common of these approaches are outlined below:

Coronoplasty/Equilibration
Coronoplasty is smoothing and reshaping the enamel of the teeth to correct your bite. It is a simple procedure
that does not require anesthesia and can be used when the bite is only slightly misaligned.

Removable Overlay Partials
These are permanent orthotics that usually fit over the back teeth and are designed to maintain an aligned bite.

Reconstruction
This approach involves making the teeth higher by using crowns. This permanently realigns the bite and provides structural support for the jaw.

Orthodontics (Braces)
When the teeth are healthy they may be moved to the optimal position using braces.


If you or someone you know are suffering from head, neck or jaw pain, Dr. Buck can help. Click here to request a consultation.

TMD Screening Consultation

TMD Head, Neck Pain Exam and Workup

Undiagnosed Chronic Pain

Because TMJ pain manifests in so many ways, a temporomandibular joint disorder is difficult to diagnose.  This is why so many people live with the chronic pain, using pain medication because it is the only treatment they know.  TMJ can manifest as head, neck and jaw pain, which is easy to spot.  However it can also cause all kinds of headaches including severe disabling ones; dizziness or vertigo; depression; anxiety; fatigue; loss of sensation or numbness in hands; sleep problems;  ringing in the ears, stuffy ears and radiating pain, along with  many more unusual symptoms.  Over the years, Dr. Buck has treated many TMJ patients who visited doctor after doctor trying to stop the pain, but their TMJ went undiagnosed until Dr. Buck ended their chronic pain with Neuromuscular Dentistry.

There is no need to live in chronic TMJ pain.  With a brief Neuromuscular exam, Dr. Buck can identify treatment to end TMJ pain.  If you or someone you know suffers from TMJ pain, a consultation with Dr. Buck could lead to an amazingly positive life change.
“I have suffered from frequent headaches for almost 25 years and upper back pain for close to 15 years. I had been treated for 3 years by another TMJ specialist and experienced very little relief. After only 6 weeks of treatment with Dr. Buck I feel like a new person. My headaches have been reduced by about 80% and I'm not having back/shoulder pain anymore. I HIGHLY recommend this office.”
Shelby Z. Client

Contact Us Today

2322 196th St. SW, Suite 201 Lynnwood, WA 98036
Call Us Today! 206-316-8286

Dr. Buck's Philosophy

Epigenetic Orthodontics opens and protects the airway enhancing breathing both during sleep and awake activities.

Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Traditional approaches do not consider the functioning capacity of the airway and how treatment can negatively, or positively affect breathing and sleep. A compromised airway puts health at risk at any age. If TMJ treatments, orthopedics, and orthodontics are planned well the airway is protected or enhanced. In fact in adults who have sleep apnea, facial orthopedic treatment can increase room for the tongue, and airway. There is increasing evidence that has demonstrated that mild to moderate sleep apnea can be cured with the approach Dr. Buck uses.

Please visit this site for more information; Airway Health