If you were born with one leg that was shorter than the other, you would likely experience balance issues and muscle strain as your body attempted to compensate for the discrepancy. You would be fitted for orthotics that would effectively even things out, so your body would not have to compensate.
The same can be done for your teeth.
If one side of your mouth is more open than the other, your teeth are probably experiencing stress and strain when you bite down, chew, or clench your teeth. One side will connect before the other, and in order to get the other side of your jaw to connect, the muscles must pull your jaw in all kinds of contorted positions.
This unbalance is more than an annoyance; it’s a pathological condition that destroys teeth, jaw joints, and can contribute to headaches, ear problems, and neck pain.
How can my dentist fix my uneven teeth?
Your dentist can fit you with a plastic orthotic between your teeth. It is thicker on one side so that when you bite down into the plastic, your teeth, muscles, jaw joint, and brain are properly aligned.
Once your body has balance:
- Your teeth are less likely to be destroyed
- Pressure is taken off the joint, which helps clear your ears
- The joints become more stable and muscles begin to relax
- Tension headaches disappear
How can dental orthotics help with pain and tension in my head, neck and ears?
Tension headaches are one of the most common symptoms of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). Dental orthotics work by taking pressure off the temporomandibular joint, and relaxing the affected muscles.
In order to correct this problem, your dentist has to find where your jaw wants to be when it’s in a balanced state. There are different theories among dentists as to where that position is. Some dentists, like Dr. Stevens, have had more predictable success using what is called neuromuscular dentistry. This type of dentistry is dedicated to realigning the jaw to relieve temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and correcting malocclusion (bad bites).
If you want to learn more about how dental orthotics can help relieve some of the discomfort you feel every day, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens.