Do you have trouble opening and closing your mouth, or dysfunction with your bite or your ability to chew? This, along with persistent pain in and around your smile could mean you need treatment. In today’s blog, your Los Angeles, CA, dentist talks about how we restore bite balance and function with an oral appliance.
The Causes of Bite Dysfunction
Difficulty opening and closing your mouth, and biting and chewing, could be caused by an imbalance in the bite or strained jaw joints. These issues could be related to missing teeth, osteoarthritis, injury to the face or jaw, malocclusion and misalignment, or problems with the growth and development of your jaw and oral structures. These imbalances could allow discomfort to form, and lead to issues like bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) and TMJ disorder, which worsens the strain and discomfort with time, and could even damage your teeth.
Common Warning Signs
Warning signs include pain in and around your face and head. For example, headaches and migraines, jaw pain, facial aches, ear pain, and discomfort in the neck and shoulders are common. You could experience popping or clicking in the jaw, or toothaches and tooth sensitivity if you grind your teeth. When you develop one or more of these possible warning signs, then let us know right away.
Diagnosing TMD and Bruxism
To offer a diagnosis with accuracy and precision, we will not only perform a visual exam of your smile., but also take detailed pictures with digital imaging technology. This allows us to see wear and friction on the teeth, and to assess the balance of the bite. With the diagnosis, we can understand the factors behind your discomfort, and create a treatment plan to address them and bring relief.
For some, we could recommend physical therapy and mediation to bring relief. But in most cases, the best solution is a simple oral appliance. The appliance will look and fit like a mouthguard, and is custom-fitted for your smile. Worn at night while you sleep, the device repositions the jaw to ease strain and tension. If you also suffer from teeth grinding, this puts a strong barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing further damage to the smile. You can then avoid the pain in your head, jaw, and smile, and prevent cracked or chipped teeth.
If you have any questions, then contact our team today to learn more.
Talk To Your Los Angeles, CA, Dentist About Chewing Dysfunction
If you have difficulty opening and closing your mouth, or pain from osteoarthritis, then we can help. If you would like to learn more about reducing bite and chewing function in your smile, then contact your Los Angeles, CA, dentist, Dr. Lapidus, by calling 310-446-4867.