Al A. Fallah, DDS, FICCMO
Call Us: (760) 730-1600
1293 Carlsbad Village Drive Carlsbad, CA 92008 | Directions
Call Us: (760) 730-1600
1293 Carlsbad Village Drive Carlsbad, CA 92008 | Directions

Neuromuscular orthodontics brings TMJ relief to patients in Carlsbad, CA

Does your face ache? Does pain or limited mobility in your jaw muscles and joints prevent you from eating or sleeping well? Do you chronically have a stiff neck and shoulders? Or maybe ringing in the ears, ear aches, headaches, and migraines? These (and more) are common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder. As a Master of the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, Dr. Al A. Fallah takes the situation seriously. Rather than masking symptoms with pain-blocking medications, he offers patients in the Carlsbad, CA area a healthy, lasting treatment option – neuromuscular orthodontics.

Neuromuscular orthodontics brings TMJ relief

Oral epidemic

An estimated ten million people in the United States experience TMJ disorders. The number is approximate because many simply live with the discomfort. Since symptoms of TMD are quite varied, countless other cases are misdiagnosed. Temporomandibular joint disorder can be defined as discomfort or reduced oral function resulting from imbalanced occlusion – bite. Why do so many people have this condition? In many cases, it begins at birth.

As an infant nurses from mother, the suckling action causes baby’s tongue to rise to the roof of the mouth. At this early stage, bones of the face and head are soft. Breastfeeding fosters a healthy growth pattern, with the tongue expanding the maxilla (upper jaw) and helping to shape palatal, pterygoid, and cranial bones properly. Good tongue position expands both the width and length of the maxilla. The pre-maxilla area consisting of incisors and canines moves forward, and bicuspids and molars expand laterally. This opens up space in the airway as well as the dental arch. Normal development in a baby sets the stage for optimal oral function and breathing throughout life. Without it, infants grow into children, teens, and adults with TMD and sleep apnea.

Before and after results of actual patients treated in our practice.

Neuromuscular orthodontics specialist
Instant Orthodontics' using Porcelain Veneers and Gum Contouring
For this patient, we created Porcelain Veneers, making her smile more symmetrical and closing the spaces between her teeth.
In the past decade or two, bottle-feeding became a popular trend. While the more natural method is back in favor, in our modern fast-paced culture, mothers often do not get to nurse their babies for more than a few weeks. Since the overall health benefits of breast milk are well-recognized today, the mother who returns to work may express it to provide for her baby. That is commendable, but it does not substitute for the oral development advantages of nursing.

Tongue-tie also contributes to a restricted maxilla. The frenum is a band of fibrous tissue that anchors the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In a tongue-tied baby, that attachment point is too far forward, preventing the tongue from moving upward. An astute lactation specialist recognizes this early, referring to a dentist trained in a laser procedure to release the tie. Freeing the tongue allows the baby to latch on better and suckle properly.

Understanding neuromuscular orthodontics

Conventional orthodontic treatment is a means to straighten teeth – often beginning with multiple extractions. An attractive smile is important, but it is not enough. The goal of neuromuscular orthodontics (or NMO) is to create proper jaw size, jaw-to-jaw positioning, and functionality . . . as well as a beautiful smile. That’s why this specialty is also known as functional orthodontic treatment.

When the upper jaw is narrow, the lower jaw is forced to retract. As it goes back, it restricts the airway. It also puts unusual pressure on temporomandibular joints, and strain on neck structures. Properly administered NMO allows the lower jaw to come down and forward. Expanding the upper jaw and bringing it forward matches it to the physiologic placement of the lower jaw. This harmonious alignment restores comfort and function, and gives the patient a big, broad smile.

Options in neuromuscular orthodontics at Carlsbad, CA practice

Why choose neuromuscular dentistry Dr. Fallah personalizes treatment for pre-adolescent (to prevent TMJ issues) teens, and adult patients. He utilizes training, experience, and a variety of tools and techniques including: Expanders – The Wilson appliance is one example of Stage I orthodontics addressing macro-occlusion. It resides on the lingual or inside aspect of the upper jaw. As you might guess, this type of device expands the arch side to side, simultaneously drawing the upper front teeth forward. The appliance and facemask (if needed) is worn during sleep time. Braces – Ideally, expander treatment is followed by a Stage II course of orthodontics for micro-occlusion, to bring teeth into proper alignment in the newly-broadened arch. DNA appliance – This device is similar to an expander, with a mechanism to expand molars, bicuspids, and canine teeth laterally. Then it moves canines and incisors forward, advancing the maxilla. This discreet device is worn at nighttime and possibly a few extra hours during the day. As a side benefit, many patients find improvement in sleep apnea while using the DNA appliance. Invisalign – Removable aligner treatment alone can only expand the maxilla by one or two millimeters – not enough to resolve TMD or sleep disordered breathing. However, as a follow-up to DNA appliance therapy, the correct Invisalign prescription completes treatment beautifully. This is a suitable path for an adult patient who does not want to wear braces, have the appearance of teeth modified with porcelain veneers, or consider full mouth reconstruction.

How can bite balancing take away your headaches - Dr. Al A. Fallah

How can bite balancing take away your headaches - Dr. Al A. Fallah
Do you suffer from regular headaches, jaw pain, or neck pain? May be bit balancing is the solution you are looking for. Watch this video to learn about bit balancing and how it can help you, as Dr. Al A. Fallah explains about it. Transcript
Why would anyone need bite balancing?
Hi, my name is Dr. Fallah, and today I want to talk about bite balancing with Invisalign and braces. Most of our patients that are experiencing jaw pain, headaches, and neck pain, have poor bites.

When we use a technology called T-Scan, we see that the bite forces are uneven. The uneven bite forces create trauma to particular teeth, to the jawbones, and your head. Such trauma is not favorable and can create dental issues, jaw pains, TMJ issues, neck pain, etc.

How can you avoid such trauma and balance the bite?
We use diagnostic tools to recognize trauma and bite balancing technology to treat. Balancing strategies can be as simple as Invisalign with a specific prescription, designed to eliminate interferences.

It could be braces, or it could be reconstruction if we don't have good teeth or the teeth are damaged.

Why choose neuromuscular dentistry?

The alternative to NMO is orthodontic jaw surgery. An oral & maxillofacial surgeon breaks the jaw in specific areas to expand it and bring it forward. The surgeon has just one chance to reposition it correctly. This is a big challenge considering the patient is anesthetized with the lower jaw sliding back, so gravitational forces and physiologic bite position must be estimated.

Dr. Fallah uses advanced diagnostic techniques taking precise measurements determining where the jaw needs to be. NMO treatment moves incrementally in that direction, so course corrections can be made, and change is reversible if necessary. At the conclusion of NMO, Dr. Fallah uses T-scan technology to evaluate bite landing. This reveals tiny contact points that can trigger muscle and joint problems. He makes sure Stage I and Stage II treatment has balanced the bite ideally.

Call to schedule a neuromuscular orthodontics consultation at Al A. Fallah, DDS, MICCMO, AIAOMT in Carlsbad, CA.
CALL US NOW: (760) 730-1600

What our patients say about Orthodontics

Patient review for Neuromuscular orthodontics in Carlsbad, CA

Thank you Dr. Fallah for your service to our country and thanks to you and your incredible team of Dental Professionals for making the experience of not only the regular check-up, but also getting a crown (onlay & inlay) stress-free and of the highest quality.

Your offices are new and conveniently located, and your equipment is of the latest technology as well as environmentally friendly.

I plan on only flossing the teeth I want to keep in good shape, but should I have a cavity in the future, or need a more in-depth dental procedure, I look forward to coming back to your dental chairs knowing I'll be in good hands.
Originally Posted on Google reviews for a best dentist in Carlsbad, CA


Dr. Al A. Fallah image
Dr. Fallah is an exceptional dentist who treats patients in Carlsbad, San Diego, and beyond with consummate expertise. He provides holistic care with compassion and excellence. Due to Dr. Fallah’s extensive education, experience and skill, he can offer his patients many options and choices in the care they receive. Dr. Fallah believes in co-creating the optimal treatment options together with his patients to suit their unique requirements.

Some of his many achievements:
  • Graduate of UCLA Dental School 1987 (scored in top 6 percent of the national boards)
  • Master of International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics
  • Accredited by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
  • Certified by the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine
  • Has extensive experience and training in the use of the Zirconia Dental Implants, especially the Swiss Dental Solutions (SDS) and the Z system
  • Extensive experience in biological oral surgery using Ozone and PRF
  • Graduate of the prestigious residency program in Contemporary Esthetic Dentistry
  • Graduate of Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
  • Licensed in IV and oral conscious sedation
  • Certified Provider of DNA, mRNA, and other sleep and TMD appliances
  • Certified Invisalign provider
  • Extensive training in neuromuscular orthodontics
  • Founding member of the American Academy of Ozonotherapy

Dr. Fallah is renowned for providing advanced, cosmetic, and restorative treatments while safeguarding their health with holistic and biological principles. We welcome you to call Dr. Fallah’s office today to experience exceptional dental care!