Common Jaw Problems Discussed by Macomb County, MI DentistDental occlusion is a medical term used to describe how your teeth come into contact when your jaws bite together.

So, what types of issues might I experience?

If your teeth won’t fit correctly, you are likely to experience a number of potential issues not only in the teeth themselves, your temporomandibular joint, gums, or muscles that set your jaw in motion!

Together, all these issues are medically referred to as occlusal issues.

  • Gum issues: If you already suffer from either a receding gum line or weakened teeth, an incorrect bite can easily aggravate your symptoms.
  • Teeth: Common dental occlusion symptoms may include improperly aligned teeth, teeth that constantly break or are severely worn out loose crowns, or fillings that constantly fracture. You may also experience persistent pain in your teeth.
  • TMJ: This is an acronym for temporo-mandibular joint. This joint links your skull and lower jaw. The motion initiated by this particular joint is what allows you to open and equally shut your mouth and chew from one side to another. When your teeth are unable to meet properly, the chances are high that you’ll experience several symptoms, ranging from persistent pain in your jaw, grinding or clicking sounds in your jaw to difficulty opening or shutting your mouth, buzzing sounds in your ear.
  • Muscle problems: If your jaw is improperly aligned, the muscles responsible for moving your jaw will have to strain to get the job done, getting tired as a result, resulting in muscle spasms. The most common symptoms associated with muscle spasms include persistent headaches, particularly in the morning, sinus pain, shoulder, and neck pains as well as pain behind your eyes. You may also have back pain!

Confirming whether you have problems or not:

A significant number of people suffer from tooth loss and dental occlusion. However, it’s unfortunate that most of them don’t experience any visible symptoms simply because they know how to address those issues. In rare situations, especially when you are stressed out, your symptoms might appear before subsiding almost immediately.

In certain instances, though, your gums or teeth may suffer the consequences, and you may experience a string of symptoms instead of headaches. These symptoms may include weakened teeth, flattened, worn teeth, increased teeth sensitivity due to temperature changes, and unprovoked toothache. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s high time you schedule an appointment with your dentist!

Some patients may also grind and clench their teeth unknowingly. This may be triggered by anxiety. However, many individuals generally clench their teeth while focusing their attention on tasks such as gardening, typing, or housework.

Some people may also experience some tenderness, or stiffness in their jaw while biting their teeth, especially in the morning. This can be caused by unknowingly grinding or clenching your teeth even as you sleep. A significant number of individuals who suffer this particular symptom aren’t aware of it!

If you regularly experience severe shoulder or neck pains, and headaches, you are highly unlikely to associate your symptoms with jaw problems! In some cases, you may continue to experience discomfort or pain around your jaw joints, or difficulty moving your jaw. In case you didn’t know, these could all be potential symptoms of TMJ!

If you have lost a few of your back teeth, you may experience an incorrect bite, which can ultimately lead to unequal pressure on your teeth. In general, these symptoms are referred to as TMJ syndrome!

So, what are my treatment options?

Of course, your best bet toward curbing these problems is to seek professional advice from your dentist. Depending on your symptoms, they may send you to a specialist experienced in occlusal issues. Usually, it’s relatively easy to identify occlusal problem symptoms. In this regard, some of your muscles might feel sore when examined, or worn or broken parts of your teeth could indicate teeth grinding, a telltale sign of an improper bite. The following treatments may be applicable:

  • A healthy diet and routine exercise: Research has shown that a soft diet, as well as corrective workouts, may prove beneficial. Your dentist might also recommend a couple of physiotherapy exercises.
  • Relaxation therapy: These are geared toward helping you become more aware of potential stressful things or situations as well as how to manage those situations.
  • Tooth replacement: In some situations, your dentist may have to replace any of your missing teeth if it’s deemed beneficial.
  • Drugs: Some medications may help in certain circumstances, even though this is only a short-term solution.
  • Mouthguard: These are ready-made devices specially crafted to protect your teeth and help curb TMJ caused by teeth clenching or grinding.
  • Equilibration: To ensure your teeth are able to meet evenly, your dentist may recommend tooth adjustment. Your dentist will first assess your symptoms to ensure tooth adjustment is the right treatment for you.

Will straightening my teeth prove useful?

If your teeth are improperly aligned, your dentist may recommend a dental brace. This device usually helps in shifting your teeth to a much better position.

Dental occlusion key statistics:

Research has shown that at least 25% of both men and women suffer from these dental issues. However, women are at a relatively higher risk, and also tend to seek medical intervention more than their male counterparts. On most occasions, these symptoms begin during menopause or any other event caused by hormonal fluctuations.

If you are looking for a dentist, HPS Advanced Dental Care would love to see you.  Dr. Heather is gladly accepting new patients.

We are located at 4741 24 Mile Rd. Shelby Township, MI 48316, and we can be reached at  (248) 652-0024.  We look forward to meeting you!