TMD and Your Teeth: Quelling the Pain of an Open Bite

If you’re having problems with your teeth, if you’re in excruciating pain, then you’re going to want to keep reading. Your pain is not unusual, but it is potentially dangerous to your short and long-term health.

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Here’s what you need to know.

The Illness and Symptoms

People who experience TMD and present with pain, usually have open bite problems an have little or no over jet or overlap of the anterior teeth. Usually, the maxillary anterior incisors overlap a little bit and there should be some overlap. Excessive gingival to gingival relationships exist when you close your teeth together, indicating a problem. A reversed occlusal plane or smile line is also usually present.

Some of the more common symptoms you may experience include a pain in the side of your head, a type of facial pain called Masseter facial pain and soreness, cervical neck pain, shoulder pain, pain at the low corner of your jaw, and other pain in the jaw area.

You may have problems chewing and swallowing. You may also have problems with teeth clenching, tooth sensitivities, and other oral health problems. Usually, an orthodontist visit is required to help resolve these issues.

A doctor will attempt to straighten an anterior open bite problem, but needs to solve the underlying abnormal tongue posture problems.

Treatment Options For TMD

Basic treatment is uncomplicated and involves placing an ice pack to the side of your face. This helps relieve the immediate pain and swelling in the area.

You can also do some basic stretching exercises for your jaw. Your dentist or orthodontist will advise you. After exercising your facial area, apply a warm towel or a washcloth on the side of your face and temporal region for 5 minutes.

You will want to change up your diet, too. Instead of your normal diet, eat softer foods. Foods, like yogurt, eggs, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, soup, fish, and scrambled eggs will all provide good nutrition and healthy fats for your body while you heal.

Add cooked fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains for fiber and minerals. Cut up foods into smaller than normal portions or sizes to make it easier to chew on. Avoid crunchy foods, or fibrous foods which require a lot of chewing.

If you need pain medications, take them. Some doctors will prescribe muscle relaxers to help ease the tension.

Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin and ibuprofen will also help you.

Sleeping At Night

A dentist or orthodontist, like Dr. Joseph T. Hung, DMD, MMSc, may prescribe a nighttime guard to wear in your mouth. These guards are made of plastic and fit over the upper and lower teeth. They will prevent you from clenching during sleep, and will help correct your bite by putting your teeth in a correct and less traumatic position.

Finally, don’t rest your chin on your hand, hold the telephone between your shoulder and ear, and avoid chewing gum or hard candy.

Keep your teeth slightly apart during the day to relieve the pressure on your jaw, and control clenching and grinding by placing your tongue between your teeth during the day. Study relaxation techniques to help control your muscles and ask your dentist about physical therapy and massage.

Bradley Holmes is a receptionist at a busy dentist practice. Often the first person patient’s speak to, Bradley has a wealth of useful tooth related info at the ready to quickly put people at ease.

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