Posts Tagged ‘tmd’

Occlusal Analysis

“Occlusal” is basically a fancy, dental-scientific word for “bite.” I have mentioned occlusal (bite) analysis in an earlier post, but if you don’t remember it, I shall reiterate:

Occlusal analysis takes a look at your bite, your entire chewing system, comprehensively observing, recording, and adjusting small areas where your bite can reach its full effective, comfortable, and long-lasting potential. This approach — analyzing the whole mouth, jaw, teeth, and their movements — is far superior to adjusting each individual tooth. Adjusting the individual teeth can lead to painful jaw malfunctions and TMJ disorders over time because of prolonged crooked movement (slight though it may be) and repetitive clenching or grinding.

Does your dentist give occlusal analyses? Should you go in for one?

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

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You and Your Bite

Occlusal disease is the fancy name for “bite disease”. What? How does one’s bite become diseased, you ask? Well, there are three types of bad things that can happen to your teeth: decay (cavities), gum disease, and bite disease. We’ve discussed the first two, so here goes occlusal (bite) disease.

Occlusal disease is the condition where your bite — the way your teeth come down onto each other — is uneven, crooked, or misaligned. You may not be able to bite down all the way or chew thoroughly, and your jaw muscles must work harder for these simple tasks. Because of the unevenness, some teeth are worn down faster than others, and further wearing, breaking, or chipping of teeth may occur. The extra work on the jaw muscles also causes pain all around the jaw, mouth, head, and neck. “Aging” teeth may not be aging at all — the wear and tear is because of a bite problem long left untreated. It’s a mess!

Occlusal disease is often hard to spot. Unlike cavities or gum disease, it’s not always visually apparent. What may appear to be a randomly broken tooth could be a more severe underlying problem… and fixing just that one tooth is not going to help if the whole jaw is misaligned.

Dentists trained at The Pankey Institute develop the eyes for recognizing bite problems, making it less of a mystery to solve if one finds himself suffering the symptoms. Much research goes into fixing the problem; casts and models of your teeth are made so the dentist can see where the problem lies and how it can be adjusted (bite analysis). Occlusal disease also ties directly into bioesthetic dentistry and treating TMJ disorders. A simple, non-surgical tweaking of the muscles (most often used with a MAGO, or mouthguard-looking splint that helps “train” the muscles to realign in the correct positions) may very well be the solution to chewing food without harming your skull, and preserving functional, straight teeth well into your later years.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

Bioesthetic Dentistry

(Taken from my website:)

“Bioesthetic dentistry takes the remedial treatment of each tooth to the comprehensive treatment of the entire body. Our diagnosis methodologies show us why you have broken down or worn teeth, and allow you to regain the length, shape and appearance of your teeth, before they became worn or broken down.

“Based on the natural biologic form, Bioesthetic Dentistry works by arranging the teeth to function together with the alignment of the Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ). Recognized world-wide as the “non-surgical face lift”, bioesthetic dentistry affects the eyes, facial muscle posture and overall facial form. The final result is a naturally beautiful smile.

“If you have any of the common complaints listed below, Bioesthetic Dentistry may be what you need.

Migraines
Jaw popping
Worn or cracked teeth
Jaw pain
Unsightly smile
Limited opening of the mouth with restricted range of motion
Unable to chew food properly
Poor digestion
Gum disease with recession of the gums
Sensitive teeth
Tired-looking or -feeling jaw”

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

TMJ Disorder

Always be paying attention to signs and signals your body gives you. If you’re hungry, eat something nourishing. If you’re tired, get some rest. If you don’t feel well, try to cut out habits that might be detrimental to your health. Make time to take care of yourself.

This includes your dental health as well. If, for some reason, you are in good health but still experience headaches, neck aches, ear pain, jaw pain, jaw clicking/popping/crookedness, bruxing, stiffness or pain while chewing, or any other unexplained symptom in your jaw/neck area, talk to your dentist. You may have TMJ (short for temporomandibular joint…the joint in each side of your jaw) disorder. If your dentist cannot give you very much information, find a TMJ specialist and call him for an examination. TMJ can grow into a severely restricting, delicate problem and is best treated when in the early stages of development. You won’t have to keep swallowing painkillers if the source of the problem is fixed!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com

TMJ

TMJ disorder, or TMD (both acronyms for the temporo-mandibular joint….the joint in your jaw), is a common ailment that causes a wide range of symptoms from occasional ear pain or jaw clicking/popping, to major aches in the entire head, tooth wear from frequent bruxing (teeth-grinding), migraines, neck pain, and jaw crookedness or tiredness. I specialize in treating TMJ, so if you think TMJ has been a problem for you, contact me (or another TMJ specialist, if location is a problem). It’s important to find one who treats TMJ bioesthetically, aesthetically, and with the healthiest, most natural options available. Your TMJ disorder will grow worse over time if it’s not taken care of. Don’t wait any longer to prevent problems that are bound to happen!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

http://www.dds4smiles.com