LVI-Trained Dentist Serving Oakton, Vienna, McLean and Nearby Northern Virginia
There are many different types of dentists these days. Many dentists are trained in all aspects of dentistry while others may specialize in a certain field. A neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Michael Chung uses an approach that involves examining the entire mouth and jaw area. He will focus on the nerves and muscles and the correct positioning of the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull.
How can a Neuromuscular Dentist help me?
Dr. Chung will perform a thorough evaluation to see if the patient has temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is basically a misaligned jaw joint that causes many painful issues.
Many people are thought to have some form of TMD, which can be very painful for some. Discomfort in the face, neck, and shoulders muscles are often a sign of TMD, along with clicking and popping in the jaw. Dr. Chung can provide a diagnosis and recommend the TMD treatment you need.
Technology is such an important part of Oakton neuromuscular dentistry, and figuring out if the jaw is aligned correctly is no easy task. A few methods to diagnose TMD are:
- Electromyography, which is a scan to figure out the tension of the jaw when it is in motion and when it is relaxed
- A computerized mandibular scan, which tracks all the motions of the jaw so the dentist can determine the correct positioning
- Sonography, which records all the sounds in your jaw when you move it - clicks, pops, and grinding are signs of TMD
Neuromuscular dentistry is very important to the overall health of your mouth and all of the muscles and nerves of the head, face, jaw and neck. Visiting your dentist regularly and asking about TMD may just save you years of pain.
TMJ Treatment in Oakton, VA, and Surrounding Areas
Temporomandibular disorders affect the jaw joints responsible for movement. In particular, the temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge, allowing you to open and close your mouth to speak and chew. These joints connect in front of each ear, sliding and rotating as needed to ensure you can communicate and eat effectively.
TMJ disorders affect a person’s ability to manipulate their jaw. They may have pain, limited mobility, chronic headaches, face and neck pain, and poor posture. In some cases, the TMJ joints can lock, making it impossible for the patient to open or close their mouth properly.
Dr. Chung offers personalized TMJ treatment to patients in Oakton, Fairfax, Vienna, and surrounding areas in Virginia. Through his deep knowledge of neuromuscular dentistry, he is able to guide patients toward the best diagnosis and treatment, which may include:
- Orthodontic care. Braces and aligners are often the frontline of orthodontic treatment to correct jaw misalignment behind TMJ symptoms.
- Orthognathic surgery. Some patients may benefit from jaw (orthognathic) surgery to correct the position of their joints.
- Physical therapy. Certain jaw exercises for TMD can alleviate symptoms and help improve patients’ comfort and function without surgery.
- Custom mouthguards. Dr. Chung may suggest some patients wear a mouth guard to keep the jaw aligned at night and reduce painful symptoms and dysfunction.
- Medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce swelling and discomfort. If over-the-counter options are ineffective, Dr. Chung may prescribe a stronger medication.
What Other Conditions Does a Neuromuscular Dentist Treat?
Patients see neuromuscular dentists for more than TMD; these professionals can treat malocclusions (misalignment) of the teeth and jaw using their extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology.
Neuromuscular dentists focus primarily on the jaw joints, guiding patients toward treatment that leads to long-lasting pain relief and improved function.
By working with a neuromuscular dentist, you can treat bite abnormalities, jaw misalignment, and some congenital conditions that affect the position of the teeth and jaw.
If you want to learn more about neuromuscular dentistry in the Oakton and Washington D.C. area, contact Softouch Dental Care by calling neuromuscular dentist Dr. Chung at 703-319-6990. We serve patients in Oakton, Fairfax, Vienna, Arlington, Tysons Corner, Reston, and all of Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. area.