Do you experience frequent headaches or have jaw, neck, or back pain? Do you clench or grind your teeth? If so, an uneven fit of your teeth could be the reason for your pain, and our team at Don Harvey Dental can help you.
Millions of people clench and grind their teeth without even realizing it, particularly while sleeping. The latest research studies have shown that clenching and grinding your teeth (a condition known as bruxism) causes soreness in the facial muscles and temporomandibular joints (TMJ or jaw joints) resulting in headaches, sensitive teeth, tooth pain, and excessive tooth wear. Depending upon the severity of the clenching or grinding, this soreness can radiate through the muscles of the head, neck, and back, causing further pain throughout those areas. It can also lead to migraine and cluster headaches, ear and sinus pain, and even anxiety and depression.
An uneven bite is often the cause of clenching or grinding. Having an uneven bite is like walking with one shoe on and one shoe off. It can be done, but other muscles have to overwork to compensate. That extra muscle activity causes them to fatigue, resulting in the types of pain described above.
As a member of The Pankey Institute, Dr. Harvey is among a select group of dentists that specialize in helping patients with these acute symptoms. Dr. Harvey’s occlusal splint therapy can ultimately help to correct an uneven bite. This involves creating a custom occlusal splint to act as a pillow between your teeth. A series of adjustments to the splint and teeth will begin to break the cycle of discomfort and pain. Diagnosis of this condition begins with a thorough examination of the muscles of the jaw, soft and hard oral tissues. Contact Dr. Harvey if you want to learn more about our splint therapy and night guards in Alpharetta, Georgia.