Your body is self-regulating and self-adjusting. If something isn’t quite right, it adjusts itself to compensate without you even knowing. These adjustments and compensations are fine if the problem is temporary but, if the issue is long term, your muscles will begin to strain. The result of this is chronic or long-term pain in that area.
Your teeth, and specifically how they come together, are part of an entire system that connects, seamlessly, to the rest of body. When your teeth come together in perfect harmony with your muscles and joints, your system works synchronously and without pain throughout your life.
What if you lost one of your critical back teeth? The other teeth would shift and, without warning, the teeth in your bite would not be meeting as perfectly as they did before. Your muscles would have to shift the jaw to avoid the interference, which causes damage to your joints and postural changes.
The bottom line is – when there is harmony in the system, the system operates in a relaxed way, without pain and without wear and tear. If harmony is lost for whatever reason, adjustments and compensations are required to bring your teeth together and this results in strain, pain and damage, which further aggravates the situation.
A qualified neuromuscular dentist is able to assess all aspects of your bite and the factors that may be contributing to a bad bite. There are many reasons that your bite might not be right.
Common causes include:
- Mouth breathing rather than nose breathing in childhood – causes can be allergies, tonsils, airway blockages
- Bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding – the different sucking technique causes narrowing of the palate and displacement of the bite
- Damage to teeth from clenching and grinding
- Genetic predisposition
- Lots of dentistry done to the teeth
- Loss of a back tooth
- Bad habits and poor swallowing technique.
As a neuromuscular dentist, Dr Anne-Maree Cole and Dr Susan Gibbs look at your entire system and finds the position where your posture, muscles and joints are in harmony. From this position, they can provide treatment to support your bite in this new position. There are many treatment options including mandibular removable orthotics, fixed orthotics, orthodontics, rehabilitation with crowns and many other options. By re-establishing the harmony, your body will be able to function effectively and the symptoms that are related to the bad bite will go away.