What is Orthognathic Repositioning?
TMJ disorder is a sometimes caused by misalignment of the upper and lower jaws. It is aggravated by stress and is often the result of chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
When the TMJ – located in front of the ear – is not aligned properly, it can cause muscle spasms, ear pain, neck pain, and headaches. You may notice pain or hear a clicking/popping noise when you open and close your mouth or yawn.
Dental treatment for this kind of TMJ disorder involves the use of a splint or bite plate to move the lower jaw forward. A concomitant is the use of functional appliances during orthodontic treatment to reposition the lower jaw to a pain-free position. The procedure of correcting this misalignemnt is called Orthognathic Repositioning.
A malocclusion (or bad bite) means your teeth do not meet properly when your mouth is closed. This diagnostic phase is designed to properly diagnose your problem and to try to reduce the signs and symptoms of the dysfunction. The diagnosis is made using a TMJ health questionnaire, range of motion measurements, palpation of the muscles of the head and neck, postural evaluation, psychological assessment, x-rays of the TM joints (tomograms), various other x-rays of the head and neck area, medical and dental history, and an examination of the teeth and the dental structures.
Treatment of TMJ disorder
Since the teeth, jaw joints and muscles can all be involved, treatment for this condition varies. Typically, treatment will involve several phases. The first goal is to relieve the muscle spasm and pain. Then we must correct the way the teeth fit together. Treatment can include the use of arch expansion appliances, arch lengthening appliances, and jaw repositioning appliances followed by braces. Often a temporary device known as an orthognathic repositioning appliance or splint is worn over the teeth until the bite is stabilized. Permanent correction may involve selective reshaping of the teeth, building dental crowns on the teeth, orthodontics or a permanent appliance to lay over the teeth. If the jaw joint itself is damaged, it must be specifically treated. Though infrequent, surgery is sometimes required to correct a damaged joint.
Ultimately, we will stabilize your bite so that the teeth, muscles and joints all work together without strain. The important aim of correcting your bite is to ensure optimal long-term health. If you have any of the signs or symptoms mentioned, discuss them with us. Early treatment may prevent the extraction of permanent teeth. A bad bite can create jaw pain, headaches, premature wearing of teeth, trouble chewing, difficulty cleaning the entire tooth surface and, therefore, tooth decay.