Functional analysis - splint therapy
Craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD) - abnormalities of the mandibular joint, jaw pain, grinding of teeth, jaw clicking - detection via functional analysis and treatment with a bite splint at the practice of Dr. Paulsen in Bad Honnef near Bonn.
Disorders of the interaction of teeth, jaw and muscles
Teeth are in direct contact with one another for about 40 minutes every day while chewing, swallowing, speaking etc. For the remaining time, the jaw and masticatory muscles should be relaxed. However,if the masticatory system is disturbed or the muscles are permanently tense, serious impairments can result. The consequences: Clicking or pain in the mandibular joints, restricted mobility, grinding of teeth, muscle tension, headaches all the way to chronic tensions.
Finding the causes of CMD
Functional disorders in the area of the teeth, mandibular joints and muscles are most often revealed at an advanced stage. The causes for these disorders can be ascribed to improper chewing or swallowing, for instance through stress or malposition of teeth.
As a rule, patients have suffered from these symptoms for quite some time without being aware of their origin. Even the dentist not always has an easy time to determine the causes. Therefore, a large portion of the functional therapy initially focuses on a detailed collection of findings (which includes a functional analysis), whereby the dentist looks for the various sources of the disorder and tests a number of options.
Therapeutic measures for CMD
All therapies for functional disorders focus on restoring the natural balance between muscles and mandibular joint. No sure formula exists - the dentist must analyze on an individual basis were the patient's symptoms originate and which measures are sensible to alleviate or remedy the symptoms. In doing so, the most gentle solution is always suggested and therefore, a step-by-step process is sometimes applied before changes to the teeth are made.
Training new chewing behavior with the bite splint
Improper weight distribution during the interaction of teeth, mandibular joint and mandibular muscles can result from stress or changes in the position of teeth after the loss of tooth. In some cases, a removable bite splint, which is worn predominantly at night, can bring relief of symptoms for the patient. This splint is produced in a dental laboratory after a cast of the teeth has been made and serves the purpose of harmonizing the balance disorders between teeth, muscles and mandibular joint. Restructuring the surface relief will cause all impacting forces to distribute differently, thereby taking strain off the mandibular joint. Wearing the splint has a training effect: The patient gets used to different chewing behavior. When and for how long the bite splint must be worn by the patient is determined by the dentist.
Wearing a temporary bite splint is not always sufficient for readjusting a disorder of chewing behavior. For long-term results of functional therapy measures it can sometimes be necessary to maintain the balance that has been trained with the bite splint by reconstructing the chewing surfaces of the natural teeth.
Deliberate relaxation - loosening of muscles
Muscle tensions in the area of the jaw in particular frequently have a psychological origin. Stress is one of the most significant factors. Patients who grind their teeth or in the truest sense of the word "bite their teeth together" in stressful situations can alleviate their inner unrest with the help of relaxation techniques, physical therapy, heat treatments, massages and hypnosis. They learn to handle their stressful situations differently. To give the muscles a rest, the dentist may recommend the temporary avoidance of food that needs lots of chewing or chewing gum. Muscle relaxing medication is prescribed in only the most severe cases.
Do you have questions? Please contact us - we will gladly advise you.
Telephone: +49 (0)2224 / 911033 or Email
Your dental practice team in Bad Honnef near Bonn