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All Posts in Category: Neuromuscular Dentistry

Primitive Jawed Fish Fossils Suggest Jaws And Teeth Evolved Simultaneously

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – New research led by University of Bristol’s Dr. Martin Ruecklin proves the oldest jawed vertebrates had teeth, which suggests teeth and jaws evolved together.

The paper Development of teeth and jaws in the earliest jawed vertebrates was published Oct. 17 in Nature, the International Weekly Journal of Science. The study is telling, as previous research suggested the first jawed vertebrates were toothless.

Dr. David Bartos, a beauty dentist in Ottawa, and his partner Dr. Mark Northcott are interested in how this research shows the tightly linked harmony of our teeth and jawbones. Our six family dental offices serve patients in the greater Ottawa area, and we help improve jaw function and placement with neuromuscular dentistry.

The team included researchers from across the globe. Swiss physicists joined forces with paleontologists from the University of Bristol, the Natural History Museum and Australia’s Curtin University to study the prehistoric jawed fish Compagopiscis. The team used well-preserved fossils and high energy X-rays to learn how the fish’s teeth and jaws developed.

“We were able to visualize every tissue, cell and growth line within the bony jaws, allowing us to study the development of the jaws and teeth,” says Dr. Ruecklin. “We could then make comparisons with the embryology of living vertebrates, thus demonstrating that placoderms possessed teeth.”

The high energy X-rays are not invasive. This method gave the researchers extremely detailed data without destroying the fossil. Scientists previously thought these ancient vertebrate species were toothless and used their jawbones like scissors. The study gives firm evidence that primitive jawed vertebrates had jaws and teeth.

“These wonderfully preserved fossils from Australia yield many secrets of our evolutionary ancestry but research has been held back waiting for the kind of non-destructive technology that we used in this study,” says Natural History Museum researcher Dr. Zerina Johanson. “Without the collaborations between paleontologists and physicists, our evolutionary history would remain hidden in the rocks.”

Drs. Bartos and Northcott practice neuromuscular dentistry, a treatment philosophy which finds the delicate balance between your facial muscles, your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and your bite. We understand the complex relationship between your teeth and jaw, and our custom orthotics will help you stabilize your bite. You may suffer from migraines, neck and face pain, ringing ears, a popping jaw or numbed fingertips. All of these symptoms may stem from your misaligned TMJ. Contact our team to test your jaw alignment with our advanced technology.

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What Is Neuromuscular Dentistry?

If you’ve ever heard a dentist or another medical professional use the term neuromuscular dentistry, you may have wondered what exactly neuromuscular dentistry is.

Essentially, neuromuscular dentistry is concerned with treating problems like bruxism and TMJ-dysfunction. In both cases, patients may experience painful symptoms like frequent headaches, neck and facial pain, popping or cracking of the jaw, ringing ears, or numbness in the fingertips.

At Trillium Dental, our doctors can provide effective relief for painful symptoms through neuromuscular dentistry.

Treatment starts with identifying the patient’s ideal alignment. We do this by relaxing facial muscles with our TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator) unit, an experience which many patients enjoy as it also relieve painful symptoms. Once we’ve determined your ideal alignment, we can begin taking measurements for your custom made orthotic. An orthotic is a special mouthpiece that is made by our lab and corrects alignment, bringing long-term relief to symptoms.

Do you have trouble with either bruxism or TMJ-dysfunction? Don’t put off treatment any longer.

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Neuromuscular Help

When you think about your smile, you’re not likely to think about its connection to the muscles in your face or neck. But if you’re experiencing headaches, cracking in your jaw, or pain in your neck or face, your smile could be at fault.
Whether because of an improper bite or TMJ dysfunction—and the two often go hand-in-hand—Trillium Dental can help patients find relief from their pain.

But First, Why Am I Hurting?
The pain you’re experiencing is related to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is located near your ears, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. An improper bite, teeth grinding, or other problems can aggravate the nerves in those joints, causing pain in your jaw, your face, or your neck.
But an improper bite and the resulting pain can be treated with an orthotic appliance.

Relief from Pain and an Improper Bite
An orthotic appliance is a mouthguard that’s been custom made from an impression of your teeth to fit over your smile. Through a simple but effective process, it gradually shifts your bite into alignment, alleviating pressure on your joints and bringing relief from painful symptoms.
The entire process is non-invasive and can be done gradually to maximize effectiveness and comfort for patients.

Schedule Your Consultation Visit Today
If you have questions about neuromuscular dentistry, TMJ dysfunction, or how relief is possible or if you need help in anydental treatment such as invisalign and dental implants please give one of our offices a call today.
Pain from an improper bite doesn’t have to keep you from smiling. Relief is possible!

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