TMJ Pain, ear pain, headaches, facial tension, neck pain and the mechanical forces of the patient’s bite can affect all types of jaw pain. These mechanical forces usually come from a lack of harmony between the position of the two jaw joints and the bite.
The Position of the Lower Jaw
It may sound hard to believe that your bite, or the way that your teeth come together, determines the shape of your face but it is true. When we are young our teeth come in a different times somewhat haphazardly in order to form our bite position. This position is not necessarily ideal from either a function or cosmetic standpoint. Then as we age our bite begins to erode and shorten from normal chewing and grinding. A bite that was not perfect from the beginning can start to have serious consequences from a health standpoint. These bite issues also show up on our faces as premature aging and facial shape changes that are all related to the position of the lower jaw.
The Aging Face
If you have ever noticed that your face is a little rounder or shorter than is was years ago you are likely experiencing bite erosion. As your teeth shorten over time your face looses the support that it once had leaving you looking older. Lips can appear thin and wrinkled, jowls can start to sag below your jawline, and the entire shape of your face can change from a bad or eroded bite. In order to reverse these effects you need an ideal bite position that supports the soft tissue of your face. Correcting your bite can have anti-aging effects such as fuller lips, wrinkle reduction, profile improvement, weak chin and weak jaw correction, and restoring your face back to a more youthful shape.
Solutions to TMJ Pain
Several doctors diagnosed her with “bite problems” even at a very early age and some recommended surgery. Because she didn’t want to go the surgical route, she lived with the clenching habit, muscle tightness, and dysfunctional chewing until she found out about the Face Lift Dentistry® option.
There are numerous health benefits to correcting your bite and one of the least talked about is more efficient chewing. When any part of our bite position is not in balance with our jaw position we can have trouble chewing. For some people the side effects of a bad bite are obvious such as TMJ pain, muscle tightness in the jaw and face, and the inability to make their rear teeth contact comfortably. In the case of Dr. Muslin’s patient below she has constant tightness in her jaw and face because of her bad bite. She explained that she “chews my food to death”. Without an efficient and comfortable bite and jaw position that work together she is overcompensating with excessive chewing.
On the other hand some of us have minor symptoms of a bad bite that we ignore. One coping mechanism of a bad bite is to simply stop chewing our food thoroughly. Most of the time this action is subconscious but it has big effects on the rest of the body. If food is passed into our digestive tract that is not chewed thoroughly we can experience any number of side effects such as acid reflux. With our bite not pulling its weight by breaking down our food, we are asking the rest of our body to pick up the slack. There is only so long that our digestive tracts can cover for a bad bite before symptoms arise.
TMJ Pain Relief
It seems to be more and more common that jaw pain and chronic clenching are written off as stress related. Yes there are certainly some lifestyles and personalities that yield more stress than others but that is not the only source of the problem. More than likely a primary contributor to your TMJ pain or clenching habit is your bite and jaw position. When either one of these is less than ideal it can encourage you to clench or grind your teeth even more. Then as you continue to clench and grind, your bite and jaw position gets even worse.
Under Bite Correction, Overbite Correction and Bad Bite Correction
The Face Lift Dentistry® treatment created by Dr. Sam Muslin strives to idealize your bite and jaw position so that they can work harmoniously and efficiently together. When your bite and jaw position is corrected the muscles around your TMJ can relax into a more comfortable state because they no longer have to work so hard. With the muscle pain and tightness around the jaw and face healing you may discover that other aliments are improving as well. Several of Dr. Muslin’s patients that suffered with chronic headaches also report a reduction in the severity and frequency after treatment.
Before undergoing Dr. Muslin’s Face Lift Dentistry® treatment he likes to test an intermediate bite and jaw position that is reversible and safe. He will create a custom removable appliance that will allow you to live in a concept bite and jaw position. This concept position is definitely not the final position but rather a way for you to determine what percentage of your symptoms improves as you move towards a healthier bite. For a patient this is a critical step by allowing you the opportunity to live in an improved bite position before committing to the final treatment. Most patients report dramatic improvements just in this appliance phase and you can expect an even better results with the final Face Lift Dentistry® treatment.
Non-Invasive Anti-Aging Face Lift Dentistry®
While the many health improvements are an obvious reason to undergo the Face Lift Dentistry® treatment, the cosmetic benefits are unprecedented in the dental field. Like other cosmetic dentistry procedures it will create the smile that you have always wanted but what makes it unique are the facial and profile improvements that it can yield. No other dental procedure strives as a primary goal to restore your face back to a more youthful shape or to improve profile proportions without grinding down your healthy teeth. If you suffer with a weak chin or a face that you think is to too short or too round then this procedure could be the non-surgical answer for you.
So often we resort to fillers and surgery to reverse the signs of aging when really it is our bite position that is no longer supporting our bone structure and soft tissue. By idealizing our bite and jaw position at any age we can reverse the effects of aging and prevent premature aging from progressing. It is never too soon to correct your bite position and you certainly do not have to wait for painful symptoms to occur before undergoing the treatment. A soon as you are done growing, the Face Lift Dentistry® procedure can significantly improve your health and how you look.
Don’t forget to take a look at several of the before and after images in Dr. Muslin’s gallery because each person has very different goals from both a health and cosmetic standpoint. No two people are exactly alike and beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Because we believe in individuality you will see that every person has a totally unique look that they were apart of creating. To learn more about the procedure or to schedule a consultation exam please give our office a call 310-829-6796.
Dr. Sam Muslin was Awarded LA’s Best Cosmetic Dentist for 2017
Santa Monica • Beverly Hills • Los Angeles