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Joint and Bite Problems

Jaw pain and headache relief

Dr Patel has had extensive training in the USA at the Pankey Institute on treating complex dental problems associated with the jaw joint and bite. This is often called ‘occlusal disease’.

Joint and bite problems can include:

  • Clicking or grating noises on jaw movement
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  • Tenderness or swelling over the joint
  • Migraines, headaches usually starts in the morning
  • Neck, face and chewing muscle pains which may also be felt in the shoulders
  • Ear pain with the possibility of ringing noises

Common causes of these problems are stress and grinding of teeth at night, which are more apparent nowadays. Careful planning and analysis is required with treatment designed around your individual needs. Often an occlusal splint (nightguard) is the first line solution. This is carefully manufactured and adjusted over a period of time to relax the muscles and place the jaw joint in a comfortable position.

As soon as the pain disappears a certain amount of restorative and/or orthodontic treatment may be required as a long term solution to prevent future problems. A careful treatment plan would depend on the severity of the initial problem.

Joint and Bite Problems

  • When teeth are ground from side to side, particularly during sleep, this can wear down the front teeth and the molar cusps can be chipped and damaged.

  • Clenching also tenses the jaw muscles and creates impact within the skull.

  • This may cause pain and headaches.

  • An Occlusal Splint can be used to protect the teeth and alleviate pain.
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