Occlusion is simply the contact between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth. There are instances when dental occlusion causes muscle issues. For example, if an individual’s jaw is incorrectly positioned, the muscles that are responsible for moving the jaw will have to work harder, which could lead to a muscle spasm. As a result, individuals may experience headaches, migraines, pain behind the eyes, sinus pain, or pain in the neck and shoulders.
It’s important for individuals to recognize if they’re experiencing any of the following symptoms so that they can get the issue corrected by their dentist. The primary symptom is teeth that are loose, flattened, worn, or broken; this also includes broken fillings and crowns. Another symptom you might experience is teeth being sensitive to hot or cold food and drinks.
Individuals should also pay attention to whether they wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or a tender feeling when they bite down or chew something.
Excessive clenching and grinding can be a sign of tooth misalignment. Often times, people don’t recognize when they’re grinding their teeth, especially if they’re focused on completing a task. For example, people are often extremely focused when they’re completing housework, gardening, typing, or working on cars. Other times, people may clench or grind their teeth when they’re feeling anxiety or fear.
It’s even common for people to grind their teeth in their sleep. For those who are missing some of their back teeth, clenching or grinding could result in an unbalanced bite, which could put lots of pressure on their remaining teeth. Therefore, it’s important to seek treatment to correct the issue before further complications develop.
Dentists should be able to rectify the problem, but if complications are too severe, they may refer patients out to a specialist. Dentists will usually check for signs of worn areas or broken teeth that indicate that an individual has been grinding their teeth, which is a common sign that they have an incorrect bite.
Some individuals may be assigned a dental guard or some type of device that prevents them from clenching and grinding their teeth. Other individuals may need their teeth adjusted and get assigned a plastic appliance that must be placed over the upper and lower teeth. This allows the teeth to meet at the precise position where the muscles are relaxed. This device may have to be worn all day or solely overnight, depending on the severity of the misalignment.
At McBride Dental, we offer various services to meet as many of our patients’ needs as possible. We offer general dentistry, preventative care services, dental crown repair, and more. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment with us, call our office today at 760-471-1003.