Integrative Dental Arts | Cosmetic Dentistry | Dr. Kathleen Carson


Physiologic Neuromuscular Dentistry

Your teeth, nerves, muscles and joints are parts of a body system that must function in harmony in order for you to achieve overall oral health, balance & beauty.

The goal of physiologic neuromuscular dentistry is to optimize bite and jaw alignment. It does that by finding the best resting jaw position and relaxing the jaw muscles.

Jaws that are unbalanced and out of alignment can lead to:

  • Clenching and grinding
  • TMJ Pain/TMD symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo/motion sickness
  • Tinnitus
  • Airway obstructions
  • Gum recession
  • Chipped and broken teeth
  • And much more

Integrative Dental Arts Has TMD Treatment Expertise

At Integrative Dental Arts, we offer more than cosmetic dentistry services. We can also help with jaw alignment problem and more. Many people in the Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks area rely on us for help with TMD symptoms. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint that can develop pain and dysfunction called TMD (temporomandibular disorder). The Integrative Dental Arts team on the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties has extensive training in this area. Dr. Kathleen Carson has vast neuromuscular expertise and can diagnose and treat TMJ pain/TMD.

What’s the Difference Between TMJ and TMD?

Everyone has TMJ. The TMJ is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to your skull; TMD is the disorder of the TMJ, which causes many uncomfortable symptoms.

Symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder

  • TMD symptoms
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Neck, shoulder, back pain or stiffness
  • Clicking or grating sounds to TM joint
  • Pain or soreness in TM joint
  • Locking jaw (opened or closed)
  • Unexplained teeth or facial pain
  • Earaches, stuffiness, or ringing
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in fingers or arms

TMD / TMJ Treatment

For many people, the symptoms have periods of being almost dormant and other periods that are excruciating. You don’t have to keep dealing with pain and TMD symptoms. We can offer several treatment options to help you with symptoms, including: the Natural Headache Therapy system and a neuromuscular approach, which can help with a number of problems, such as: headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, and bite correction.

Equipped with advanced dental technology and dedication to on-going training, the Cosmetic Dentistry team at Integrative Dental Arts, conveniently located near Los Angeles, CA are here to answer any of your TMD/TMJ questions.


AGGA stands for Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance. The Fixed Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance for Children

What AGGA Does

  • Re-open extraction spaces (if applicable)
  • Create more space for the tongue
  • Relieve pressure in the Jaw Joints (TMJ)
  • Improve Facial Appearance

Dentist uses AGGA on himself

My friend and respected colleague Leonard Kundel DMD used the Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance to treat himself.

During treatment, Dr. Kunders lower jaw returned to center. It was always rested to the right. This created frequent jaw muscle tension. Debilitating fatigue plagued him for years and was alleviated after only two months of appliance therapy. He no longer wakes up with “a heavy head wanting to sleep more and more”.

AGGA can help children grow their jaws properly

Dr. Kundel used the Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance to treat this child.

This patient that had been wearing pediatric removable growth appliance( RAGA ) for four months when the after picture was taken. The left side of the face was compressed and lowered. Once the appropriate stimulus was initiated his head began leveling out. You can learn more about AGGA by visiting Dr. Kunders website (Learn More).

Goals of AGGA Treatment

The goals of the AGGA treatment are: more pleasing facial appearance, less jaw pain, better tongue positioning. The AGGA appliance encourages forward development of the jaws and/or forward movement of the teeth. This can create more tongue space, a larger airway and heather jaw joints.

More benefits of AGGA Treatment

  • Forward Growth Guidance of the jaws 
  • Room for all of the permanent teeth to erupt (Larger Airway)
  • Stronger Profile
  • More Pleasing Facial Appearance

A Real Solution for Snoring, Sleep Apnea & TMJ

The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates the at least 22 million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea and that 80% of them may be undiagnosed. Many people don’t know that snoring is not normal and should never occur. But, even if you or your loved one does not snore, you could still be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) and other Sleep Related Breathing Disorders (SRBD).

OSA & UARS have been linked to a number of serious medical conditions such as hypertension, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and depression. Dr. Carson and her team at Integrative Dental Arts are passionate about your overall health.

Dr. Carson is an Integrated Provider of the Vivos System. The Vivos System is a non-invasive, nonsurgical treatment that helps allow for optimal tongue positioning.

DNA/mRNA System

The DNA appliance has been shown to help improve facial balance and structure, expand and open the upper airway, and allow teeth to come into alignment naturally Other benefits of a DNA appliance includes:


  • Elevated energy levels
  • More pleasing and balanced smile
  • Improved facial esthetics
  • More pronounced cheekbones
  • Straighter teeth
  • More room in mouth for tongue to “fit properly”

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders - Snoring, Sleep Apnea & UARS

TMJ symptoms can be clues that OSA or UARS may be present

According to some studies, about 75% of patients who suffer from OSA and/or UARS also have jaw pain, head pain or other “TMJ symptoms”. Many experts agree that the reason for this is “clenching”. Clenching (or grinding of the teeth) tends to happen at night when you are asleep and your airway becomes blocked or obstructed. Clenching is something your body does to try to clear obstructions in your airway and make room in your mouth for your tongue.

Clenching strains the jaw joints (temporomadibular joints or TMJ) and over works the facial muscle. Over time, this can lead to a myriad of symptoms and pain patterns including:

  • Pain or tenderness of the jaw.
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints.
  • Aching pain in and around the ears.
  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing.
  • Aching facial pain.
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth.

Were You Aware of These Facts?


During sleep, your tongue and throat tissues may relax enough to narrow your airway. Snoring is the sound that is produced when air passes through this partially blocked area causing tissues to vibrate.

OSA is a medical condition where your tongue and soft tissues actually close off your airway and stop air from entering your lungs. When this happens during sleep, the oxygen in your blood decreases, your heart races, and your brain panics-causing you to startle awake. After a few good breaths, the cycle repeats itself, all night long.


Snoring is more than just a loud and annoying noise, it can be an indicator of a Sleep Breathing Disorder (SBD) that can be very serious. Approximately 42 million Americans have a SBD.

The most common form of a SBD is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a medical condition where your tongue and soft tissues close off your airway and stop air from entering your lungs.

70%of heart attack ” patients have mild OSA686%of obese type 2 Diabetic patients suffer from Sleep Apnea12
43%of patients with mild OSA have Hypertension548%of type 2 Diabetes sufferers have Sleep Apnea7
100Kcar accidents annually84Xmore at risk for stroke9
  • Sleep Apnea can also cause memory problems, weight gain, impotence, and headaches if not treated.
  • Untreated OSA can lead to a 30% or more reduced survivability rate over the course of 20 years11.
  • Drowsy driving is responsible for 100,000 car accidents, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths per year8.
  • Approximately 38,000 deaths occur on an annual basis that relate to cardiovascular problems that in one way or another are connected to Sleep Apnea. These problems include high blood pressure, hypertension and stroke, among others10.
  • Inconsistent breathing during sleep
  • Snoring
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Gasping, choking, or coughing during sleep
  • Extreme sleepiness throughout the day .
  • Lethargic feelings
  • Morning headaches
  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • Dry mouth and/or sore throat n the morning
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering things

Prevalence similarto Asthma (20 million) and Diabetes (23.6 million of US population)4

1 in 5 adults have mild OSA2 1 in 15 have moderate to severe OSA 2
9% of middle-aged women and 25% of middle-aged men suffer from OSA3 75% of severe SOB cases remain undiagnosed3

1.Younger al. New Eng10 Med1993 2 ‘,Ming et al. fun Med Assoc 2004 2.Marshall et al. Sleep 2008 US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2008 Young et al. Sleep 2008 kuniyashi et al. J Am Coll CardioI2008 ‘ o’keeffes Patterson. Obes Surg2004 ‘ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration http:// sleepdisoniersgu /sleepapne a/s1 eep- apnea-Mat ‘ilia. Ftml * National Commission on Sleep Disoers Research u Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mortality:Eighteen-YearrdFollow-up &the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort; Department of Population Health Sciences. Depadment of Medicine, On iversity of Wisconsin-Madison, adi son,MI. Ste e 5. 5008 Au 8,31(81: 1071-1078″ Sjostrometal. Thorax 2005


Answer the questions below to find out if you might be at risk of having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:

0 = would never doze or sleep
1= slight chance of dozing or sleeping
2= moderate chance of dozing or sleeping
3 = high chance of dozing or sleeping

Talk to your dentist about your OSA self assessment.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale reprintedwith permission of theAssociated Professional Sleep Societies (Johns NM; ANew Method for IdeasuringDaytime Sleepiness: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale. 1991:14(6):540-545).

Sitting and reading __________
Watching TV___________
Sitting, inactive in a public place__________
As a passenger in a car for an hour or more__________
Lying down to rest in the afternoon__________
Sitting and talking to someone_________
Sitting quietly after a lunch (without alcohol)__________
Stopped for a few minutes in traffic while driving__________
TOTAL SCORE (add the scores up)__________
teeth box
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  • Convenient
  • Clear aligners that are discrete and don’t interrupt your life
  • The right fit for you
  • Fits snugly around your teeth

Need Help? Call 818-889-0400 to speak to the office

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