Welcome to MarinTMJ



MarinTmj is a private, fee-for-service, Neuromuscular Dental Practice owned and operated by Dennis D. Stuart, DDS -- a general dentist who has a special interest, training and instrumentation to diagnose and treat pain and/or dysfunction of the head, neck and jaw musculoskeletal system.

Please feel free to explore our website and see what we do!

MarinTMJ is located north of San Francisco, California in the heart of Marin County.

Our second floor office is situated at the base of Red Hill at The Hub Center and overlooks the picturesque town of San Anselmo and Mt. Tamalpais beyond.

WHAT WE DO...  In the simplest of terms, we correct bad bites!

In more accurate and descriptive terms -- we scientifically measure, analyize and correct orthopedic malalignments of the mandible (lower jaw) to the cranium (skull) in order to balance and harmonize the health and function of the CranioMandibular Triad.

The CranioMandibular Triad consists of the teeth, the muscles and the joints. If these three components don't function in proper harmony, a wide and diverse set of signs and symptoms may develop.

These signs and symptoms -- often called TMJ Syndrome -- may include (but are not limited to) the following conditions:

       •Headaches, neck aches, jaw and/or orofacial pain
       •Jaw joint sounds (clicking, popping or grating)
       •Limited jaw mobility or functional incoordination
       •Difficulty in chewing, speech or swallowing
       •Hypertonicity (tension) of the jaw musculature
       •Hypertrophy (enlargement) of the jaw musculature
       •Forward head posturing and cervical imbalance
       •Abnormal tooth wear due to clenching or grinding
       •Tooth pains of unknown origins
       •Receding gumlines and/or toothneck erosions
       •Ear congestion and/or tinnitis (ringing in the ears)

HOW WE DO IT...                                                                        Our philosophy of practice, office protocols, and the types of equipment that we use are based on the clinical principals of diagnosis and treatment known as Neuromuscular Dentistry.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is based on science.                     Webster's dictionary defines the word science as "the study of facts".

More than thirty years ago, Dr. Bernard Jankelson, DMD -- the first pioneer in the development of Neuromuscular Dentistry -- stated that "If it can be measured, it's a fact. If it can't, it's an opinion".

When it comes to the care of our patients, we don't  diagnose and provide treatment based solely on opinion. We do, of course, rely on our experience and our clinical judgement in the treatment decisions and recommendations that we provide for our patients. But, from an evaluation standpoint, we want and need accurate objective information to base those decisions on.

That's why we have chosen to use the state-of-the-art technology of Computerized Electronic Diagnostic Instrumentation. Briefly, this equipment consists of four components:

          •Computerized Mandibular Scanning (Jaw Tracking)
          •Surface Electromyographic Muscle Testing
          •Sonographic Jaw Joint Vibration Analysis
          •Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation

This instrumentation is manufactured by the Myotronics Corporation of Seattle, WA. Originally founded by Dr. Bernard Jankelson, Myotronics has a thirty year history as the leader in the field for this type of technology.

All of their products have been proven to be safe and effective and are accepted as such by both the American Dental Association and the Food and Drug Administration. To learn more about this instrumention and how it's used, please Click Here. 



If you feel that you -- or someone you know or love -- might be having problems that are caused or exacerbated by their bite (as summarized in the TMJ symptom list above), please explore our website more fully to learn more about us and the incredible technology that we use in striving for optimal patient care.

WE'RE IN THE BUSINESS OF HELPING PEOPLE. But quite frankly, like any service business, if we don't have enough people to help,  we'll have no business to be in.

That's the purpose of this website: To provide you, our visitor, with accurate and useful information about who we are and what we try to do to help people have better lives. Our hope is that by doing this, you will be better able to make an informed decision in selecting  -- or recommending -- us for the diagnosis and treatment of these types of problems or conditions.

To request a Complimentary Consultation, please Click Here

To contact us by phone or email, please Click Here


Headaches, Neckaches and TMJ Pain

Did you know that a bad bite can cause pain and other problems with the health and function of your teeth, muscles and  jaw joints?

For over fifty years, it's been known that tight muscles cause the vast majority of all pain in the head and neck areas. In 1949, Janet Travell, MD began her pioneering research into the field of Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. Her original Pain Reference Pattern Mappings of Muscles are still considered to be the gold standard in the field of MPD and continue to be referenced as such in articles and textbooks today.

What she discovered back then, is still true today!

Over-contracted, shortened and chronically tense muscles are the cause of the vast majority of all human head and neck pain.

How can a person's bite induce or cause tension in the jaw musculature and the other neck muscles that support and move their head?

Firstly, it's important to understand that the human jaw works differently than other parts of the body. Unlike the hands, for example, the jaw does not rely on visual feedback for its use. People don't need to look into a mirror in order to speak, chew, swallow or kiss.

Instead, the human jaw operates exclusively by what is known as Proprioception. Proprioception is defined as "the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and it's parts".

While we have proprioceptive feedback sensors (stretch receptors) located in many joints and muscles throughout our bodies, the jaw system is uniquely different because it has specialized sensors that monitor and control its position and operation subconsciously.

Known as Periodontal Ligament Fibers, these specialized stretch receptors form a membrane that surrounds the root of each and every tooth. Not only do these specialized sensors tell the brain where the bite is located in space, they also AUTOMATICALLY determine and program the position of the jaw when the teeth are NOT in contact and the jaw is at its postural position!

If a person's bite is located near the truely relaxed postural position of the lower jaw (as it should be), the jaw posturing (closing) muscles are able to fully relax when they are not in use.

However, if the bite is not in close proximity to the truely relaxed position of the jaw (physiologic rest position) , the jaw posturing muscles are forced to work overtime in order to hold it at a strained position that's close to the bite (habitual rest position).

THE RESULT? Muscles that were designed to work as "movers" are now forced to act as "holders". The functional physiology of these muscles changes from Isotonic Contraction to Isometric Contraction.

To understand the difference between Isotonic and Isometric Contraction, consider a person exercising the Bicep muscle of the upper arm by curling a "dumbell" weight. If the person actually curls the weight, their Bicep is working Isotonically, if they merely hold the weight motionless at a certain position, their Bicep is working Isometrically.

In Isotonic contractions, the muscle tenses and shortens (causing movement). In Isometric contractions, the muscle tenses but doesn't shorten (lack of movement).

The Muscles of Mastication, as their name so aptly implys, are designed to be movers. And even more than just movers, they're designed to be workers!

For human beings, the "work" that's done by our jaw muscles can essentially be broken down into three basic categories -- chewing, swallowing and speaking.

This "work" represents a surprising amount of activity each day. The simple act of swallowing alone, occurs on average between 1,500 and 2,000 times a day! Add to that hundreds of chewing strokes (and who knows how much talking) and it's easy to see why the human jaw is considered to be the most active musculoskeletal component in the entire body.

The more "work" that's done, the more important it is for the muscles to fully relax and posture themselves at a neutral position during the in-between times when they're not in use.

A bad bite causes an orthopedic malalignment of the mandible and never allows the muscles to fully relax because they are subconsciously programmed to hold the jaw at a strained position that is near to where the teeth fit together. The result of this situation is chronic inducement of muscular tension in the muscles when they should be resting!

Like a domino effect, these muscle contraction events frequently spill over to other antagonistic muscles in the surrounding areas (especially the sides and back of the neck).

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Marin-TMJ Neuromuscular Dental Center, 754 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Suite 8
San Anselmo, CA 94960 :: Phone 415-457-1571

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