Patient Bite Optimization

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Occlusion or bite is the proper mating of the upper teeth with the lower teeth in your mouth. A defective bite or malocclusion will normally be caused by what we may call ‘bad oral habits’. Some of them are:

  • Incorrect swallowing patterns
  • Improper tongue positioning
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tongue thrust
  • Failure to replace missing teeth
Bridges
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMDs)

These ‘oral habits’ are correctible and must be corrected early to avoid ill effects. One such effect is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD can be defined in layman’s terms as misaligned jaws. A misaligned jaw will necessarily affect both the hard and soft tissues and can result in many physical problems and undesirable conditions such as:

  • Headaches
  • Aching jaws
  • Tooth pain
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
  • Popping and clicking sounds during jaw movement
  • Pain in neck and shoulders
Why Bite Optimization is Necessary?

A correct bite (occlusion) is the most essential consideration in dentistry. Traditionally dentists had focused on the teeth and gums, or ‘the hard tissue’. This is termed by some as ‘one-dimensional’ dentistry. However, occlusion is affected by more than the teeth and gums. The temporomandibular joint, the muscles, and the nerves, all play a part. Neuromuscular Dentistry (NMD) is more than considering just the teeth. NMD considers all these factors. , or the ‘second & third dimensions’ as these are sometimes called. NMD works with the hard tissues (teeth, bones) as well aswith the soft tissues (muscles and nerves) to place the jaw into its optimal position in an effort to relievesymptoms associated with the TMD. This can only be done if your dentist correctly realizes the complexity of the linkage between the ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’ tissues, and tries to restore the system to a relaxed, and balanced position. It necessarily demands a very good evaluation of the patient’s condition and all the relevant factors, and evolving a corrective plan suited to the individual case. The target remains correction or improvement of the bite.

What should you do?

If you have a bad bite, not only will it be difficult for you to chew and digest your food, but you also have problems with your temporomandibular joints. If you are also facing one or all of the above mentioned symptoms, then you need to see a dentist who specializes in bite optimization. A dentist expert in bite optimization will first assess the exact reason behind your problem with the help of contemporary diagnostic tools, such as radiography, CT and MRI scans and will then treat them accordingly. In case the position of the jaws is not correct, a surgical procedure has to be performed to correctly align the jaws.

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