Occlusion – ‘Bite Adjustment’
If there is an imbalance between the positioning of the upper / lower jaws [the ‘tooth joint’] and the Temporal Mandibular Joints [‘jaw joints’], this frequently leads to stress of the masticatory [‘chewing’] muscles which are attached to the jaw joints which are the most used joints in the body.
Even small daily stresses [like eating] to these muscles build up tension in them. This can upsets the head balance on top of the spine which, in turn, can lead to stressing of the muscles attached to the spine and, in the worst scenario, also knock out the balance of the hip joints and onto the knee joints.
Masticatory function and movement of these joints is brought about by the chewing muscles which provide the ‘functional motor’ responsible for the grinding required to chew food, speech, swallow and facial expression etc. In providing this movement, these muscles have to bring the teeth into functional contact.
Over time, imbalances in this functional action can cause excessive stress to form within the masticatory muscles, jaw joints and the teeth – this can then lead to:
- Dislodging of tooth position or cause excessive wear.
- Overstress the muscles and contribute to facial pain / migraine type symptoms
- Wear out / dislodge the jaw joints
- Produce structural problems within the whole skeleton of the head/ neck / back / legs.
Treatment can range from a simple bite adjustment [basically marking and skimming the functional contacts that are out of alignment] to a combination of orthopaedic / orthodontic surgery to full align the balance between the tooth joints, jaw joints and the functional muscles.
Frequently, a simple bite adjustment is sufficient to ease the masticatory pressure and associated muscles.