What You Need to Know about Physiologic Dentistry

Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee

If you’re having difficulty getting treatment for a number of symptoms such as jaw pain, headache, and a bite that just feels off, physiologic dentistry might be able to help.

Physiologic dentistry, closely related to neuromuscular dentistry, is a science-based approach to dentistry that seeks to resolve many problems that develop from jaw dysfunction, promulgated through the complex connections that link the jaw with the body.

Here are few basic principles that govern physiologic dentistry and help expert Nashville physiologic dentist Dr. Kent E. White to achieve positive outcomes for his patients.

Body Is Biologic

What You Need to Know about Physiologic DentistryOne of the biggest problems in dentistry is trying to model the body as if it were a machine. Certainly, there are metaphors that can be drawn between the two systems, but the body doesn’t function like a machine. It doesn’t have hard joints like gears or hinges. Instead, it has a combination of hard and soft tissues that are designed to be flexible and accommodate stresses outside its normal tolerance.

But accommodation comes at a price. As the body adapts to adverse stresses, the adaptations themselves can be damaging, leading to acquired habits that promulgate damaging movements and stresses. This is what we describe as dysfunction.

As a biologic entity the entire body is interlinked with a complex network of hard, soft, and wet attachments. Dysfunction in one area is bound to bleed over and impact the rest of the system.

The Importance of Rest Position

Functioning from a constant state of stress is damaging. This is true whether the stress is psychological or physiological. Damaging adaptations in the jaw system generate damaging stress that impacts the muscles, teeth, bones, joints, and other components of the entire jaw system. To avoid stress, it’s important to help the jaw find its optimal rest position.

The rest position not only helps the jaw avoid stress, it allows for surplus potential to be used when necessary. A jaw that is constantly stressed won’t be able to function properly when called on. When not in rest position, other systems in the vicinity may be compromised, including nerves, blood supply, and the lymphatic system.

Objective Measurement Is Key

What is the true difference between quack practitioners and true physicians like doctors and dentists? It’s the use of objective measurements that confirm the existence of physiological problems and guide proper treatment. In physiologic dentistry, we often rely on electromyography (EMG) as one of our most important measurements. EMG shows us where muscles are experiencing a stressed condition related to damaging adaptations. When this occurs, we can use ultra-low frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (ULF-TENS) to bring the muscles into a relaxed state.

Can You Benefit from Physiologic Dentistry?

If you have symptoms that are associated with TMJ and aren’t responding to conventional treatments, you should consider the potential benefit from physiologic dentistry.

To learn more, please call (615) 383-6787 today for an appointment with Dr. White at the Center for Advanced Dentistry.