Occlusion & TMD

dentist reading

Helping reduce the effects of clenching and grinding teeth

At Kendrick View, we are committed to providing treatment for the destructive effects of clenching, grinding and tooth wear, collectively known as occlusal disease. Clenching, particularly during sleep, can cause overloading of the teeth, resulting in wearing, breaking, sore muscles and stiff jaw joints.

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Occlusion is the study of the way a patient’s teeth function together, how they touch and how the jaws move. The occlusion usually describes the touching surfaces of the teeth. All of dentistry is affected by your occlusion and occlusal forces.

What is occlusion?

Every time you have a restoration (filling, crown etc.), your dentist should carefully assess the effects on your occlusion. Imagine teeth closing together with great force. This happens every time we chew but much greater force is used if we clench, particularly in our sleep. If your occlusion isn’t properly balanced, you may experience problems with chewing or opening your jaw, or suffer from headaches, jaw, neck or shoulder pain, collectively known as TMD (temporo-mandibular disorders).

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What can be done to help?

Our dentists are all trained in occlusion and will diagnose the cause and recommend treatment to help alleviate the problem. Indeed, we have been treating patients with occlusion and TMD for over 20 years. We use a presentation tool called BiteFX™, which uses animations to explain the issues in an accessible, easy to understand way. It also gives you a better appreciation of our treatment recommendations, that were previously quite difficult to explain.

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Effective treatments

The majority of patients do not require surgery. We may suggest one or a combination of the following for effective treatment, depending on your individual case:

  • Soft diet
  • Rest
  • Mouth splints or appliances
  • Physiotherapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Dental restorations (including crowns, bridges, fillings and implants)
  • Bite adjustment and equilibration treatment
  • Orthodontic treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the signs and symptoms of TMD?

    You may suffer from a variety of symptoms linked to TMD. The most common is pain, particularly in the chewing muscles and jaw joint. You may also experience radiating pain in your face, ear, jaw, head or neck, stiffness in your jaw muscles, or notice a change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together.

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We are happy to help answer your questions or discuss your treatment options - please get in touch.

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