Neuromuscular Dentistry Park City, UT

Traditional dentistry is two-dimensional and focuses on the belief that your natural occlusion, or bite, is the best position for your jaw.

However, if you begin to demonstrate the symptoms of a TMJ disorder, including a popping or clicking of the jaw, headaches, migraines, shoulder, neck, and back pain, or a ringing in your ears, you may want to consider neuromuscular dentistry from Dr. Peterson in Park City.

What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

A neuromuscular approach is used when a pathologic or unhealthy system is diagnosed.  This can present in many ways.

Pathology can present as a variety of forms of pain,  destruction to teeth and the surrounding bone, TMJoint noise or disfunction, and skeletal misalignment.

“Neuromuscular” refers to the fact that we are aware of, paying attention too, and measuring the health of the muscles and the nerves that supply them.  The importance of this simple fact cannot be underestimated.  Of all 12 main nerve branches that come off our brain (including vision and hearing) 70% off ALL sensory input travels through the Trigeminal nerve. This is the nerve supplying the chewing muscles.  Combine this with the knowledge that 90% of all pain is muscular in origin and you can begin to appreciate Neuromuscular Dentistry.

The significance grows with the understanding that the position of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw affects how your head sits on the top of your spine and as a result the vertebrae of your neck.  So if health and freedom from symptoms are going to be achieved, your doctor needs to understand these relationships.  And a bite should never be “opened” or moved without a way to measure and objectively assess positioning FIRST.

Too often we see bite changes made without objective measurement that result in symptoms that the patient didn’t have prior to treatment, or worsening of already existing conditions. The well meaning but misinformed dentist, orthodontist or surgeon then tells the patient that they had nothing to do with it, and or they need to “not be so stressed.”

Neuromuscular Treatments

Each person’s treatment will vary depending on a number of factors.  The techniques we use to establish health and absence of pain are virtually the same.  These techniques have been being perfected for over 40 years.

Treatment options include removable orthotics (these are NOT “night guards!”), neuromuscular sleep appliances, fixed orthotics, porcelain reconstructions, and orthodontics.  Often a combination of of treatments are used to meet a patients goals.  Dr Peterson will always provide options a explain the benefits and alternative of each.

Neuromuscular Tools

  • Computerized EMG recording.
  • Computerized Jaw Tracking.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation. (TENS)
  • Postural Analysis
  • Physical Therapy techniques to align and create functional space in the TMJoints and Cervical Vertebrae
  • Trigger point injections (To aid in pain relief and posture correction)
  • Spenopalatine nerve blocks. (Providing quick pain relief and faster treatment time)
  • 3-D imaging.
  • Laser Photobiomodulation or LLLT (Using the power of laser to reduce inflammation and jumpstart the body’s natural healing processes)

Neuromuscular Sleep Dentistry

Most of the factors that affect a person developmentally and result in a situation where there is disharmony in the muscles of the joint and jaws, are the same that predispose a person to sleep disordered breathing. Read more on sleep dentistry.

A dentist like Dr Peterson with extensive Neuromuscular and TMD training is the perfect clinician to assist you with appliances to help with sleep disordered breathing.  Gambling with random jaw positioning and inferior appliances for 6-9 hours a night are like playing Russian Roulette with your neck and TMJoint.

Neuromuscular dentistry is used to determine the ideal position for your jaw by focusing on all five dimensions. By discovering the perfect resting position for your jaw and adjusting your jaw to this position, neuromuscular dentistry is able to relieve you of your discomfort.

Please see our answers to commonly asked questions about TMJ.


Advanced Cosmetic Dentistry proudly provides Park City, Salt Lake City, Heber UT and the surrounding areas with advanced neuromuscular dental services. Call today for your consultation at (435) 658-0678  or complete a Contact Form here!

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(435) 658-0678
1840 Sun Peak Dr., #B101, Park City, UT 84098

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