At Prestige Family Dentistry, we place a lot of emphasis on the functional aspect of your dental health. As a result, we offer bite balancing to patients who exhibit the need for this service. Information from your bite is taken and carefully analyzed to determine how your teeth come together. We, then work up each case carefully prior to transferring the result to the mouth. After this work up exercise, we are able to tell how involved the case may be. The ideal position of the bite relaxes the muscles and places less strain on the joints, muscles, teeth, and rest of the masticatory system.
Sometimes only selective grinding is needed so that the teeth hit together more favorably – other times if there is a lot of damage to the teeth, crowns may be needed to replenish and restore the bite. Every case will be different. Many patients can benefit from having their bite balanced. That would include patients with TMJ problems, tightness in the jaw, patients experiencing bruxism (clenching/grinding) and anyone with damage to their teeth. Someone with a very poor bite may break their natural teeth or break dental work routinely. Bite Balancing should increase the longevity of your natural dentition and chewing system by distributing evenly the forces that are applied to the natural dentition and dental work.
According to the American Dental Association, 95 percent of Americans grind or clench their teeth at some point in their lives, but more than 20 percent of Americans suffering from bruxism don’t even know it.
So how can you determine if you are a bruxer? You are likely suffering from the following symptoms:
- Headaches: If you wake up with headaches or have them after a stressful day, it could be due to your facial and head muscles being fatigued from all the teeth clenching and grinding. You may also experience earaches.
- Jaw pain: When your jaw muscles are overworked, you can experience jaw pain as well as temporomandibular jaw disorder – also known as TMJ.
- Tooth damage: Worn down or loose teeth are extremely common. Some people grind their teeth with a force strong enough to crack a nut! Over time, this force can damage teeth, gums, and even facial alignment.
- Neck and shoulder pain: Your neck and shoulder muscles will compensate for your tired jaw muscles, resulting in you waking up with neck and shoulder tension and achiness.