What is TENS? How does it help with jaw pain?
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It’s a device used in neuromuscular dentistry, which looks at the entire system that controls the position and function of your jaw. It helps to relax the muscles in the neck, jaw or face and manage the pain associated with jaw disorders or TMD – temporomandibular joint disorder.
How do we use this technology at our Adelaide practice?
Our dentists use the TENS device – a battery-operated, electrical muscle stimulator – to deliver gentle electrical stimulation to your muscles and help them reach a true relaxed state. The TENS is helpful in managing facial, head and neck pains and determining a physiologic bite.
What does the TENS procedure involve?
TENS is a non-invasive procedure where mild electrical stimulation is delivered through adhesive patch electrodes attached over the face and neck in areas above where the nerves are that control specific muscle groups.
The virtually painless stimulation will cause your facial and jaw muscles to twitch or pulse once every one to one-and-a-half seconds. After about 40 to 60 minutes, this electrically induced ‘exercise’ will allow your muscles to overcome their programming and go into a relaxed state. Unlike drugs, TENS stimulation has no side-effects like nausea or tiredness.
TENS can be used to:
- Relax muscles and establish a physiologic occlusion (bite)
- Take occlusal or bite registrations
- Take denture impressions
- Treat TMD dysfunction and associated pain
- Relieve symptoms associated with muscle spasm
- Increase local blood circulation to remove the toxins that build up in muscle dysfunction
- Increase mandibular range of motion (that of your jaw)