In dentistry, precision is everything. As a neuro-muscular dentist, I know just how true that is.
Good oral health relies upon a delicate balance of upper teeth to lower teeth as well as the unity of teeth on both sides. What occurs when a tooth is lost and not replaced is a perfect example of the the problems that can occur without each tooth in its proper position.
When a tooth is lost, the tooth above or below the open space is left without an opposing tooth. The opposing tooth helps to keep its upper or lower ‘neighbor’ at a proper length. Without it, the tooth grows longer. Additionally, the teeth adjacent to the open space are no longer held in their proper positions. These teeth can soon tilt into the open space and lean into range of the elongated tooth.
The longer tooth can now ‘hit’ the leaning teeth in chewing or speaking. Initially, this may cause a dull tooth ache. As the tooth grows longer and the others tilt further, chips, fractures or breaks can occur. The effects of bite misalignment don’t stop there, however.
Bite misalignment tends to put stress and strain on the jaw joints. These are the joints just in front of your ears that hinge the lower jaw to the skull. Stress on these joints is referred to as TMJ disorder.
When the bite is misaligned, the jaw joints become so as well. During sleep, there becomes a subconscious struggle as the jaw joints search for a proper relaxation point during sleep. As the jaws seek this out, clenching and grinding can occur. This can result in worn teeth, frequent headaches, migraines, soreness when opening the mouth, ear ringing, facial muscle pain and dizziness.
Yet, you don’t have to be missing a tooth for these problems to occur. A crown that is placed at an improper height can just as easily disrupt the balance required for teeth and jaw joints to work together harmoniously.
My advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry and modern technology are ways I help our patients avoid the long list of problems that can easily occur when the delicate balance of occlusion is disrupted. Proper bite alignment is an important element in the overall skeletal alignment. Without it, a domino effect is set into motion.
If you are experiencing any of the problems related to bite misalignment or TMJ disorder (as mentioned above), call to arrange a no-cost consultation. During this time, I’ll discuss ways that we can determine if your bite is truly the source of your problems. If so, there are several options available to help restore the balance of a healthy bite.
If you are not experiencing these problems, you can rest assured that the work you have performed in our office will be done in a way to help you avoid them. It’s simply a perk of our commitment to exceptional care for each patient!
Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a consultation time that works for you.