Think You Have Unbalanced Occlusion?

Gladstone Family Dentistry TMJ Dental Patient Christy

Malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite”, could be the culprit of a number of symptoms like migraines, popping noises in the jaw joint, vertigo, and ear pain or itching. When your teeth line up poorly — be it via incorrect dental treatment, getting your dad’s dental genes, an unhealthy lifestyle or sports injuries — it may make your life unpleasant. Thankfully, malocclusion is fixable.

Approximately 60 million people in America have Temporalmandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJS).

For a long time, the notion that a migraine headache was linked to the jaw joint was not taken seriously. Today, however, the dental and medical communities are supporting the conclusion that TMJS and chronic headaches/migraines are linked.

In fact, nearly all affected individuals bought numerous rides on the medical merry-go-round before they eventually arrived at our practice, often as a final option. That’s mainly because many individuals don’t recognize that their particular conditions are actually associated with malocclusion.

Research through the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine examined the existence of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) in 24 individuals referred to a neurology practice. The objective was to identify the percentage of individuals referred to a neurology center for headaches where TMJD would be the primary source of pain. They discovered that 11 of the 24 individuals with headaches had TMJD. That percentage, nearly fifty percent is viewed as a very high proportion when compared to the 15 percent in the general population of TMJD sufferers.

As evidence continues to grow regarding the link between headaches and TMJD, people who think they have this condition should talk with any staff member at our practice. We have taken advanced training in this treatment.

Gladstone Family Dentistry TMJ Dental Patient Melanie

Indicators of TMJ

• Clicking or popping whenever opening your mouth 
• Excessive yawning as you try to adjust your jaw 
• Severe headaches and/or migraines
• Dizziness
• Pain in jaw muscles
• Stuffy ears
• Jaw at times locks up whenever yawning
• Cramps or spasm in the jaw region

Other symptoms that may not seem connected to malocclusion include shoulder, neck and back pain. While discomfort in this area may appear to be completely isolated from the temporomandibular jaw joint, those who suffer from TMJ are prone to repeatedly tilt their heads, thereby forcing the neck, shoulder, and back muscles to stabilize the head.

Having your arms or hands “go to sleep” or go numb might also indicate TMJ disorder. Why? Because nerves in your arms and hands being squeezed by muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders and face.

Finally, to add insult to injury, you can develop chronic depression after years of enduring daily pain.

If you have any symptoms like these, speak to us. Our treatment usually includes absolutely no pills, no shots, no surgical procedures, and no unwanted side effects. We are able to address these difficulties as they are more than likely due to clenching your teeth when you are sleeping and sometimes during the day. Whenever you clench your teeth, you use many of the strongest muscles in the human body. These muscle contractions might cause morning headaches and/or stress headaches, and even damage nearby ligaments, teeth, as well as other muscles.

Almost all dental treatment to relieve malocclusion calls for the employment of a splint, or a dental device that temporarily modifies the bite. In more extreme instances, we may recommend a long-term improvement in the bite using tooth replacement, moving teeth through orthodontic therapy, or a combination of bonding and crowns or veneers. For many affected individuals, the outcomes have been effective and their return to a pain-free condition has provided these folks another chance for a far more successful life.

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  • Gladstone Family Dental Group
  • 2109 N.E. 72nd Street Suite 101
  • Gladstone, MO 64118
  • (816) 452-3420