Approximately half of the population has some functional alteration of the mastication system without knowing it; these alterations can cause very different kinds of discomfort, although the most frequent ones are: referred pain in the ear, neck, jaw or back, limitation of movement of the mouth, clicks on opening or closing the mouth, at the level of the temporal-mandibular joints, etc.
The causes of these dysfunctions are diverse, but they are always related to components of the chewing system, the muscles, the teeth and the temporal-mandibular.
The muscles provide the necessary strength to chew, speak, swallow, etc., but an exaggerated contraction, because of stress or other alterations, makes them rigid and painful, triggering pain in the neck, shoulder and head.
The teeth transmit muscular strength and, with their appropriate gear, ensure good function. Their absence or bad position influence not only bad function but also in dysfunction.
The temporal-mandibular joint that joins the jaw to the skull, may become injured as a consequence of previous alterations and also by a bump, an illness or an abnormality in development.
In some people who have these alterations, the discomfort gets worse.
A specialist at our Clinic, by means of a clinical exploration, analysis of the occlusion and complementary x-rays and laboratory tests which are needed, will assess the degree of affectation of each one of the components of the system and will establish the most appropriate treatment.
The basis of the treatment is to re-establish balance between the muscles, teeth and temporal-mandibular joint by different techniques, among which there is the use of splints.
Consultation with a good orthodontist can be very important because we have seen in our clinic that a cavity can cause pain (sometimes referred) in regions like the cheek, below the eye…