Resolve TMD with focused myofunctional therapy in Sonoma County
As with all complex machines, the body requires harmony amongst its various working parts in order to achieve proper and comfortable movements. An issue that is faced by millions of children, teens, and adults is TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. This condition is an example of the orofacial mechanism gone awry.
TMD occurs when the temporomandibular joints are continually placed in a state of stress. Discord with correlating muscles, nerves, ligaments and other structures can lead to a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Many patients affected by TMD report hearing a pop or click when they open and close their mouth. Symptoms that don't seem connected to the jaw may also occur. These include chronic head and neck pain, and ringing in the ears.
Myofunctional therapy utilizes non-invasive techniques to optimize facial and oral functions. Essentially, it is a method of re-educating the muscles that facilitate chewing, swallowing, and the posture of the jaw, or mandible. Orofacial exercises target specific muscle groups while modifying behaviors to promote correct oral posture.
The 4 phases of myofunctional therapy include:
- Pre-treatment includes the elimination of habits that adversely affect oral postures
- Intensive treatment includes eight appointments, scheduled weekly. In this phase, we reinforce the elimination of poor habits by working on patterning optimal function in orofacial muscles, chewing and swallowing liquids and solids, the resting position of the tongue against the palate, resting position of lips, and oral muscle activation.
- General treatment includes visits every two to three weeks. This continues for up to four months. During this phase of treatment, we tailor exercises to maintain new patterns and observe habits while also discussing how to maintain awareness throughout daily activities.
- Habituation is a phase of treatment in which Dr. Smida performs monthly evaluation and follows up with tailored exercises to promote ongoing maintenance of oral posture.
Treating TMD takes time and commitment. Immediate improvement in comfort may be facilitated with injections of ozone
into the affected joints. This improves circulation and promotes healing, making ozone a wonderful adjunct to myofunctional therapy.
Oral health and wellness goes beyond the prevention of cavities and gum disease. Dr. Jurina Smida, a holistic dentist and physician, is well versed in the treatments that improve health and quality of living. Call our office for your consultation
What does oral myofunctional therapy in Petaluma have to do with mouth-breathing?Read More