Disorders of the temporomandibular joint, often referred to as TMJ, can cause painful complication with everyday tasks, like chewing and speaking. It is estimated that 5% to 12% of people suffer from this condition. Often, stress-relieving exercises and home remedies help stop the discomfort of TMJ. However, when these options fail to produce the benefits you need, your dentist in Sewell may recommend an occlusion equilibration. This involves adjusting how the teeth of the upper and lower jaw align. At Connolly Family Dentistry, we provide TMJ therapy, including occlusion equilibration, to improve your quality of life.
How Can Occlusal Equilibration Help Me?
The temporomandibular joint is located on both sides of the face and connects the lower jaw to the skull. When these joints function improperly, it can lead to a wide range of complications, such as clicking or popping of the jaw. In some cases, the jaw can lock into an opened or closed position. The condition often results in pain, tenderness, and swelling of the joint.
While there are various causes of the disorder, such as trauma to the joint, a poor bite can also lead to TMJ conditions. When the teeth are closed, all the lower teeth should make contact with all the upper teeth evenly. However, when this does not occur, it causes the jaw joints to sit unevenly. This can result in the disorder, as well as cause excessive strain on specific teeth.
To reduce the stress placed on the jaw and to correct its position to sit correctly, occlusal equilibration can help. This involves “rebalancing” the jaw by altering the chewing surfaces of the teeth. The overall goal of the procedure is to ensure both sides of the mouth come into contact with one another for a balanced bite.
Where Can I Get Treatment for TMJ?
If it is recommended you have your bite realigned, we use a computer-based program called TekScan to create a treatment plan to adjust the biting surfaces of your teeth. Your treatment plan can include multiple phases and require various appointments based on your individual needs.
Often, prior to beginning the treatment process, splint surgery will be recommended to ensure the joints of the jaw sit correctly. This involves using stabilizing or repositioning splints to align the jaw. Then, we will reshape and redefine the teeth to create a harmonious and stable system for a proper bite. By doing so, you will protect your teeth from further damage while resolving the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.
Is Occlusal Equilibration Right for Me?
If you are tired of living with the pain and complications of TMJ disorders, Connolly Family Dentistry can help. We will access your teeth and bite in relation to how they impact the function of your jaw. We may recommend less invasive treatments prior to deciding to proceed with the occlusal equilibration.