Occlusion (a.k.a. the Bite) is the way your teeth fit and come together. Some bite problems can cause headaches, discomfort, or even pain. That pain can sometimes mask as problems that you associate with your teeth, while some bite problems can cause major damage to your teeth without producing any obvious discomfort.
There are some simple ways to detect when a problem with the bite is causing or at least contributing to pain or discomfort. Such as a “Clench Test”. With your mouth empty, so there is nothing for you to bite on, and then clench down your teeth together. If clenching causes any discomfort on any of your teeth, there may be an indication of bite disharmony. The tooth that is in disharmony can often experience biting pain as well as cold sensitivity. When the bite is in disharmony, the supporting musculature can often be in distress as well and express as jaw muscle pain and tenderness, or even headaches and migraines.
On the other hand if clenching causes pain or discomfort in the jaw joint, (you may feel it just in front of your ear), you can suspect a possible relationship between your bite and a TMJ problem. The sources of Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) may be associated with a structural disorder in your TMJ, but more often the pain comes from certain muscles that move the jaw joints to accommodate a bite that is not in harmony with your TMJs.
Another sign that your bite is not in harmony is generalized severe wear (attrition). If you have worn all the enamel off the biting edges of your teeth, you will expose the inner layer of your teeth, dentin, which will present as darker yellow colored surface. Dentin wears down about seven times faster than the much harder enamel that you’ve already worn through. Severe wear on the teeth can continue with the exposure of the nerves and causing teeth to become abscessed. For rehabilitation of extensive generalized worn down teeth, a full mouth reconstruction of your mouth is often required to re-establish the proper vertical dimension for your bite and jaw in order to support proper function.
Ask Dr. Jennifer about your options to resolve and slow down the progression of TMD before it cause a detrimental effect to your oral and overall health. Dr. Jennifer is licensed to administer BOTOX for the treatment of TMD, a new and highly effective TMD treatment approach.
For more information, please see the attached PDF files or ask Dr. Jennifer when you come in for a consultation.
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