Neuromuscular Dentistry and TMJ in the Triad of North Carolina

The Importance of a 
Properly Aligned Bite

A healthy smile is more than just shiny white teeth. It’s the combination of your muscles, bones, gums, teeth, and nerves all working together. If you experience an issue with one of these areas of the mouth, they can impact one another. This is why it’s important to realign the jaw or fix a bad bite to prevent the progression of other oral health conditions.

Not only will properly aligning your jaw and bite improve your oral health, but it will also ease any pain you may be experiencing. Dr. Whaley and our team of Triad dentists offer neuromuscular dentistry to fix bite and jaw problems, relieving patients of their TMD symptoms. Learn more with our guide below.

What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Neuromuscular dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the correction of jaw misalignment. Dr. Whaley has completed advanced training on bite alignment and creating harmony between the muscles, nerves, and teeth to give you the care you need. Dr. Whaley completed this prestigious program at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, making her one of the few Triad dentists to seek and obtain neuromuscular and TMJ dental training.

What Is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This joint is found on both sides of your head in front of the ears. Essentially, this joint allows your jaw to open and close, allowing you to speak and eat.


Signs You May Need Neuromuscular Dentistry

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may need TMJ or neuromuscular care:

  • Pain or soreness around the joints
  • Limited movement or locking jaw
  • Worn dentition (shortened teeth)
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint
  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain
  • Ringing or stuffiness of the ears
  • Chewing difficulties

Proper Diagnosis

At Triad Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Whaley guarantees a safe, effective, and custom treatment plan by using cutting-edge technology and techniques to properly diagnose your specific problem. Depending on your case, she may use a variety of tests to find the cause of your jaw pain, such as:

  • Sonography: Vibrations are used to identify where the joint in the jaw isn’t properly functioning when it opens and closes. 
  • Electromyography: This uses pads to measure your jaw muscle activity.
  • Jaw Tracking: Analyzes the lower jaw movements with a magnet to identify abnormalities. 
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): Ultra-low frequency electrical stimulation of the muscles to relieve muscle spasms and pain.
Why Choose Triad Dentistry

Our Treatment Options

Neuromuscular dentistry works to relieve your pain and reposition your jaw into its optimal position. If you’re suffering from jaw pain or any of the symptoms we’ve listed above, we suggest coming to our Archdale dental office for a consultation with Dr. Whaley. With pain in the jaw, it’s common that patients have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or myofascial pain dysfunctions (MPD).

After analyzing your bite, Dr. Whaley will work with you to treat your jaw problem with a myomonitor and a small removable mouthpiece called an orthotic. This is a customized, acrylic device that’s generally worn all day on the lower jaw.

The orthotic device works to reposition the jaw and correct its neuromuscular position, reducing pain and realigning your bite. A separate nighttime appliance may be needed to help stabilize the joint position, depending on your individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I see a dentist for TMJ treatment?

If you’re suffering from reoccurring pain or jaw stiffness, this may be an indication of TMJ disorder. TMD can be painful and debilitating, affecting both your mental and physical health. We recommend seeing Dr. Whaley at Triad Cosmetic Dentistry if you’ve noticed any symptoms of TMD. If Dr. Whaley determines that you do have TMJ disorder, she can use her expansive knowledge of neuromuscular dentistry to provide an effective and customized treatment plan.

Can you fix TMJ without surgery?

In most cases, treatment for TMJ is non-surgical. At Triad Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Whaley provides surgery-free treatments to relieve your pain and realign your bite. With our custom, non-invasive treatments, you can enjoy improved oral function, increased physical comfort, and pain-free jaw/muscle movements.

To schedule your consultation with Dr. Whaley and determine if you’re suffering from TMJ, call our Archdale office at (336) 434-3186.

Should I be worried if my jaw pops when I chew?

Popping or clicking sounds when you move your jaw are among the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder. Typically, these sounds are especially noticeable when you speak, chew, or yawn. If this is happening to you, call our dental practice and schedule an appointment with Dr. Whaley as soon as you can. She’ll determine if your symptoms are connected to TMD and develop a personalized treatment plan just for you.

Can TMJ disorder lead to sinus headaches?

Patients who suffer from chronic headaches or sinus pain without explanation may have TMJ disorder without even knowing it. Clenching or grinding your teeth is one of the primary causes of TMD and it also builds pressure in your sinuses, causing headaches regularly.

Since the symptoms can overlap, sinus infections are sometimes mistaken for TMJ issues. Dr. Whaley will examine your jaw closely and determine the underlying cause of your pain so she can provide a treatment that offers the relief you need.

Relieve Your Pain at Triad Cosmetic Dentistry

Don’t let jaw pain affect your life any longer. At Triad Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Whaley can help treat your TMD with the help of neuromuscular dentistry services. To schedule a consultation, call our Archdale office at (336) 434-3186. You can also request more information by filling out our online contact form. Our Triad dentists proudly welcome patients from Winston-Salem, High Point, and the Greensboro communities.