When getting dental restorations, such as a dental crown, dental implant, or dentures, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the right fit. Otherwise, you could find out your new restorations are a real pain in the neck, literally!
All of our muscles have a natural resting position, and it’s usually a compromise between multiple groups of muscles that are working together. Put your hand out and let it relax–see how your fingers half-curl into a position that is between a fully open hand and a fist. That’s because the natural resting point for the muscles in your hand.
Your jaw also has a natural resting point, where all your muscles are at their lowest activity levels, which is when it sits open a little bit. Your jaw has to go away from this resting point hundreds if not thousands of times a day for speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Ideally, it should do it in a balanced way, so that all the muscles are working equally, and none are getting too stressed.
But if your teeth don’t fit together properly, it can make it hard for your muscles to do this. If your teeth fit together in such a way that some jaw muscles are being worked harder than others, they will get stressed, and you may begin to experience jaw pain in your muscles. Once these muscles are being stressed, they will put stress on other, nearby muscles, such as those in your head and neck, which then begin to get stressed, too. You may feel headaches, neck pain, and other difficulties. This is what we call temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ.
When a dentist puts a new restoration in your mouth, he’s effectively giving you a new tooth or teeth. If this new tooth or teeth don’t fit properly in your mouth, your muscles will experience the effects noted above and they will begin to try to overcome it. Over the short term, you may experience pain in your treated tooth, in your bone, or in your gums (in the case of dentures), as well as pain in your jaw muscles.
Over the longer term, your restoration will wear away and fail. Often years before it should.
A neuromuscular dentist is one that has an understanding of how jaw joint function intersects with your tooth restorations. He can help you get restorations that fit properly, don’t cause discomfort, and are more likely to last their expected lifetime.
To learn more about neuromuscular dentistry and how it can help you, please contact Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788