by Dr. Michael Vold

Dysfunctional Occlusion

Do you have headaches, neck aches, clicking jaws, limited opening range of the jaw or ringing in your ears?  You may have seen your physician about your symptoms, but found no relief.  You may even have been told that it is “all in your head.”  If so, you are not alone.  Some 60 million Americans share these symptoms with you.

We know the cause of your symptoms.

Symptoms of a Bad Bite

o  clicking, popping or grating sound when opening or closing your mouth

o  chronic headaches and/or dizziness

o  tenderness in jaw muscles

o  earaches and/or itchy ears

o  jaws that sometimes lock open when yawning or laughing

o  spasms or cramps in the jaw area.

Problems begin when the muscles in the jaw and jaw joint are out of alignment (malocclusion), causing problems when chewing. Simply stated, the ligaments, muscles, bones, teeth and joints do not line up, thereby causing pain.  The pain and muscle stress is made even worse by clenching your teeth when you sleep.

When you clench, you are using some of the strongest muscles in the body.  These muscles can cause chronic headaches, destructive tooth wear, and at its worst, permanent wear down the bone of jaw joint.

By reducing or eliminating the clenching, you are effectively relaxing the jaw and minimizing the source of the pain.

Occlusion Therapy

Occlusal Splints are used as a treatment option to prevent nightime damage associated with grinding and clenching while at the same time adjusting your bite to relax your jaw.

When your occlusion misalignment is analyzed and identified, minor polishing of the surface enamel or placing strategic dental restorations can redirect and balance the bite, bringing relief from occlusion-induced pain and stress.

TMJ Self Analysis

Take this quick and easy survey to rate your TMJ problem:

1.  Do you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines?

2.  Do your teeth or crowns keep chipping or breaking?

3.  Are your face and neck muscles constantly sore?

5.  Do your ears ring (Tinnitus)?

6.  Are your teeth sensitive when you bite down?

7.  Do you sometimes have unexplained nausea or vertigo?

8.  Has your jaw ever “frozen” in place, even for a few seconds?

9.  Do your ears ever tingle or itch?

10. Are your teeth sensitive to cold?

11. Do you grind or clench your teeth at night?

If you have answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, you probably should be examined for TMJ disease. You should see a qualified dentist in your area that treats TMJ disease and get an examination.