To function efficiently, your mouth requires cooperation from the bones, teeth, ligaments, and muscles. It’s a delicate balance that can be interrupted by a variety of factors, such as misaligned teeth, injury, illness, or stress. Dr. Philipps emphasizes a properly functioning oral system, so you can enjoy comfortable and long-lasting dental work.
In dentistry, occlusion refers to the way the upper and lower teeth fit together when the mouth is closed. A properly aligned bite means that the jaw and teeth work in harmony, allowing for comfortable chewing, and speaking. A misaligned bite, also called malocclusion, occurs when the teeth do not fit together properly. This often results from crooked teeth, underbites, or overbites, and can cause several dental and overall health related problems, such as headaches, teeth grinding, and TMJ disorder.
Fairly common in our society, teeth grinding can stem from malocclusion, as well as stress and anxiety. Most adults grind their teeth in their sleep and many are unaware of the problem. Over time, teeth grinding can lead to chronic headaches, gum recession, and tooth wear, cracks, and breaks. If you have existing dental work, such as crowns or veneers, teeth grinding will shorten the lifespan of your restoration.
TMJ Disorder (TMD)
Teeth grinding may indicate a disorder of the jaw-joints, called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints work in harmony with the jawbone and facial muscles, allowing the jaw to move forward, backward, and from side to side. TMJ disorder (TMD) results when injury, illness, stress, malocclusion, teeth grinding, or a variety of factors displace the joints. Patients with TMJ disorder may experience clicking or popping jaw, chronic headaches or migraines, back, neck, and shoulder pain, and a numerous other symptoms.
Finding a Solution
Dr. Philipps can remedy malocclusion, teeth grinding, and TMJ disorder, often with simple solutions. Many patients benefit from a custom-made oral appliance. Resembling an athletic mouthguard, the appliance is worn at night to balance the bite and prevent the harmful effects of grinding and clenching. Other therapies may include orthodontics, bite building, or changing eating and sleeping habits. Dr. Philipps takes pride in offering dental treatments that do not interfere with the oral system’s delicate balance.
Since 2000, Midland and Odessa-area families have trusted Dr. Philipps with their smiles. Call today to reserve your checkup, consultation, or second-opinion visit. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice and developing a lasting relationship built on trust and integrity.