Portland Dentist Bite Dysfunction Therapy

Bite Dysfunction

Dr. Milfred's advanced training at the Kois Center in Seattle, Washington included studying occlusal (bite) disease and learning how to treat it. Occlusal disease may present in many different ways: excessive tooth wear, cracked, loosened, or broken teeth, bone loss, periodontal disease, sensitivity, sore jaw or facial muscles, sleep apnea, and headaches. Patients may seek treatment for periodontal disease, headaches, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), neck pain, etc. without knowing that the underlying cause of their problems is that their bite is dysfunctional.

Dr. Milfred looks at the mechanical forces that may be “off” and causing problems as listed above.  In every comprehensive exam, Dr. Milfred will pay special attention to  the bite.  Proper diagnosis is the first step to helping patients understand the causes behind their worn and or breaking teeth and finally have a solution to treat this common problem.

Diagnosing occlusal disease starts with evaluation of any signs and symptoms during an examination. If indicated, bite models are made, which allow Dr. Milfred to study the bite and plan therapy, and measurements of TM range of motion are taken. Once a diagnosis is made, Dr. Milfred will provide treatment options

Bruxism/Teeth Grinding

Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. The condition, known as bruxism, may be remedied with a nightguard.

The Facts About Clenching & Grinding

Common symptoms of bruxism include a sore jaw, headaches, or earaches. Causes vary, but may include stress, anxiety, tension, misaligned teeth, posture, diet, sleeping habits, and other factors. Bruxism is most prevalent in women and generally found in about one-third of the population.

Individuals who react to stress with anger, pain, frustration, aggression, or competition are most commonly affected. People with bruxism may have other biting habits, such as biting fingernails, pencils, lips, or the insides of their cheeks.

Constant clenching and grinding of the teeth cannot only cause the aforementioned symptoms, but it may also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, which has a long list of side effects associated with pain in the head and neck. Teeth rubbing together consistently will result in surface wear over time, which will cause dental problems. Insomnia, eating disorders, and depression can result from bruxism left untreated.

A Solid Solution

How can you stop an unconscious habit? A thorough evaluation will allow us to check your teeth, tissues, and muscles. If we determine that you suffer from bruxism, we may create an orthotic appliance, also called a nightguard or splint, to prevent grinding and clenching. In some cases mal-positioned teeth, worn teeth, and improperly shaped crowns and fillings may cause bite interferences that result in bruxism. If this is determined to be the case careful examination and correction of the cause can be extremely beneficial and effective, literally saving your teeth from self-destruction.

Some practices that can relieve symptoms of bruxism include stress and anxiety management, focused facial relaxation, massage and stretching of face and neck muscles, applying ice or wet heat, proper rest, eating soft foods, and hydrating the body. If your teeth were damaged because of bruxism, or if we find TMJ to be a factor, our team will repair and treat you to provide complete relief.

1130 SW Morrison St., Suite 450, Portland, OR 97205 USA
Dr. Leslie Robert Milfred Portland DDS (503) 227-4410 (503) 227-6007 [email protected]