If your upper and lower teeth do not come together evenly when you bite down, they may interfere with each other, resulting in wear and discomfort. This is called "malocclusion."
It's not uncommon for patients with irregular bites to experience periodic or chronic pain in their jaw muscles. Some live with the continuous stress of pain and some have complications in their jaw joints and muscles. Perhaps, you have heard of the terms "TMJ" or "TMD." These refer to temporamandibular joint disorders.
Some patients with occlusal (bite) problems only have signs of excessive wear patterns on the surfaces of their teeth. Others experience one or more of the following: headaches, facial pain, cracked teeth, painful teeth requiring root canals, loose teeth, gum recession, painful head and neck muscles, jaw pain, and ear problems.
During your New Patient Exam, Dr. Kratz will check for signs of temporamandibular joint disorder. After this thorough examination, Dr. Kratz will assess your situation and recommend the appropriate therapy for you, if needed. Therapy may include a bite splint and working with other specialists, such as a physical therapist, orthodontist, or oral surgeon.
There is not a quick fix for temporamandibular joint disorder. By developing a treatment plan customized to fit your unique needs, Dr. Kratz can help you to successfully manage any recurring issues and achieve long-term oral health.