Bite disorders can have a wide-ranging impact on both your oral health and your quality of life. They can be the underlying cause of dental problems, headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain. Over time, a bite problem can damage teeth and gums, make it difficult to chew comfortably and cause chronic discomfort in the head and neck area.
The dental team at Great Smile Dental in Port St. Lucie offers comprehensive diagnosis and dental care for bite problems and TMJ related disorders. We work with patients on an individual basis to evaluate their needs, restore dental health and provide lasting relief from discomfort.
Bite problems are typically related to dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. This can be caused by a wide range of factors from genetics and malocclusion to trauma. When the teeth cannot make proper contact muscle tension can build in the TMJ as a result of the imbalance. Patients with a bite problem are also prone to teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which also increases muscle tension and leads to radiating symptoms.
The key to a lasting result and a comfortable smile is a comprehensive approach that takes into account all aspects of your oral health, going beyond just treating the symptoms.
We use advanced technology as needed to evaluate the structure and function of your smile and offer a team approach to your care for the best possible outcome.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TMJ
Knowing and recognizing the signs of a TMJ related disorder can help patients seek appropriate care as soon as possible, avoiding the possibility of permanent damage and enabling more conservative treatment options to be effective. Common symptoms can include:
- Worn teeth
- Cracked teeth, uncomfortable chewing
- Frequent headaches
- Neck and shoulder pain, muscle tension
- Jaw pain
WHAT TO EXPECT: The first step towards a healthier, more comfortable bite is a consultation and comprehensive dental exam. We will thoroughly evaluate your dental health before recommending the most suitable treatment options to address existing damage, straighten the teeth or reduce teeth grinding.
Treatment for a TMJ disorder is unique to the needs of each patient and can include several procedures for the best result.
- Mouth guard, night guard: the most conservative and often first line of treatment is the use of a custom-made mouthguard. Worn at night, this oral appliance is designed to reposition the bite to minimize teeth grinding and allow the jaw joints to rest in a natural position.
- Restorative dentistry: to repair worn or cracked teeth, we may need to place crowns or use tooth bonding.
- Orthodontics: if malocclusion is the cause of the imbalance in your bite, we may recommend orthodontics to straighten and realign the teeth.
- Oral surgery: in complex cases where there are structural issues related to the jaw, surgery may be necessary to restore a healthy bite and address discomfort.