Clicks, grinding, joints and the bite
This is one of the most complex areas of dentistry to understand… even by most dentists and as such is often overlooked or ignored. The easiest way to look at it is to imagine you had to wear a pair of shoes for the rest of your life and one of them had a stone in it. Overtime by twisting your spine and hips, you would adapt and learn to walk, run and function fairly normally. However there is a price to pay when the hips and spine are out of alignment. This may come as pain, aches or early degeneration in these areas.
This is largely what happens to your jaw joint if it isn’t aligned properly. To complicate it, your teeth shift position and lock your jaw joint into this unfavourable position. How people become aware of it is through joint pain (TMD), excessive grinding of their teeth leading to them to wear down especially in the front teeth. The bite changes and the teeth wear down unevenly. Normal tooth wear is 1mm per century, we often see 3 or 4mm tooth loss!
What this means is it prematurely ages the look of someone and ruins their smile. If you have you ever wondered at why fillings and crowns seem to keep breaking so often, this is usually the reason. Sometimes even the jaw joint itself starts to degenerate.
Treating these issues always starts with accurately figuring out the cause and what makes it worse. Sometimes treatment involves simply placing a barrier between the teeth at night time to stop night time grinding. During the day there are exercises we can teach you that will help immensely. The more severe cases often involve fixing the bite itself. If you are one of the unfortunate people wearing your teeth down, are curious or are in pain from this type of issue, come in and let’s determine what’s happening and design the best solution for you.