Bite and Joint Health Check

Dentists Serving Patients in Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton & Nearby Areas of Florida

During a routine check-up, the doctor will be able to check for TMJ/TMD signs and symptoms and malocclusion (“a bad bite”) that can cause tooth, head, neck and jaw pain, cracking and chipping of teeth, jaw bone loss & periodontal (gum) disease, which both lead to eventual loss of teeth, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) deterioration.  All of these also lead to loss of much needed skeletal facial structure which leads to a much more aged look.

Orthodontics and Invisalign® can also play a major role in preventing a myriad of dental, TMJ, airways and facial / skeletal challenges.  A fall on the chin as a child can affect the growth of the jaw bone which can lead to a less noticeable, retrusive chin and less room for the teeth which can cause crowding. 

This can often lead to less room for the tongue which can cause the child (and even an adult) to thrust the tongue forward to allow vital air to get past.  In turn, the tongue can push the front teeth forward and narrow the palate (roof of mouth) and airways even more so. 

In becoming a “mouth breather,” the teeth and gums are now exposed to a faster rate of tartar build-up and decay. 

Other vastly important health and personal self-esteem concerns can arise including, snoring and/or sleep apnea which results in poor sleep and fatigue which can lead to functioning poorly at school or work, overeating, depression, increased potential for ADD or ADHD, and the list goes on.

Palatal expansion with an orthodontic appliance helps to widen the palatal arch thus creating more space for the crowded teeth and trapped tongue.  This has the exact opposite effect of removing teeth with further narrows the arch. Removing teeth to “create space” should be an extremely rare recommendation.  

As this space is created through expansion, the tongue no longer has to protrude so that the body can breathe.  Additionally, the crowded teeth are able to move into better alignment.  Since the jaw bone and its temporomandibular joint (TMJ) play such a vital role, it is important that you find a doctor who has studied it and understands how it is affected by occlusion (the “bite”). 

How the teeth fit together dictates where the top of the jaw bone (the condyle) sits in the joint capsule.  Ensuring, with the final phase of orthodontics, that the bite allows and maintains this joint to be in a healthy position is a critical factor to maintaining overall dental health and in preventing or reducing the likelihood of a number of other health challenges.

Your gums and jaw bone and joint (TMJ) are the foundation of not only your teeth and smile, but also the structure of your middle to lower face.  Doctors must take the health of the gums and jaw bone and joint into consideration as the foundational starting points for determining all the dental treatment options available to you.

To get a complete oral check-up, or to find help for your neck pain, jaw pain, or chronic headaches, contact the Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice TMJ dentists at The Smile Centre today and schedule an appointment.