Bruxism, TMJ & Bite Correction
Occlusion is the way your teeth come together when you bite. Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth and jaws. Put simply, a “bad bite” or the way your teeth align, can affect the long term health of your teeth along with a number of health and dental problems. This can include wear, fracture, and/or crooked teeth, tooth loss, gum problems, TMJ disorders, and in some cases sinus pain and sleep apnea.
If you grind your teeth, have headaches or pain in your jaw, adjusting your bite may lessen or possibly eliminate these problems. Dr. Spitz and his highly trained dental team, are well-equipped to treat these issues through various therapies, treatments, bite adjustment, the use of dental Botox therapeutic injections and mouth guards.
The muscles that control the jaw are very complex and are constantly at work. When your teeth are out of alignment, a task as simple as swallowing becomes constant stress for jaw muscles. Many types of the head, neck or facial pain are due to a dysfunction of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint and are commonly referred to as TMJ.
Alleviating TMJ can be accomplished a number of ways. A long-term solution is to reshape teeth or, in some cases, have the bite rebuilt by a surgical dental specialist, like a prosthodontist. However, oral appliances or occlusal guards are often used to align the jaw and relieve pain.
In addition to headaches, a misaligned bite can also be a cause for losing otherwise healthy teeth. It is important to understand the force generated on the teeth and the jaw joints. As you bite on food or on the teeth themselves, the average force is anywhere from 56-300 pounds per square inch. This is a lot of force concentrated in a very small area.
Trauma to your bite can develop in many ways. Breaking a tooth or having a restoration placed even a little high or low can throw your bite out of alignment.
Picture a full set of teeth like books on a bookshelf. When one is removed or shifted, the rest begin to move, filling in space. This shifting of the teeth will ultimately cause one tooth to consistently hit first when biting, and subsequently, cause trauma to that tooth or the bone surrounding it. This can, unfortunately, be the beginning of a series of issues.
If headaches or jaw pain is a serious concern, a simple one-on-one consultation could lead to a pain-free future. Call and schedule your appointment today.
“Dr. Spitz is a professional. You can tell when he talks with you, that he knows what he is doing, and that he loves it. That makes all the difference.”
– Frank L., Smileboston patient since 1997