The way your teeth meet when your top and bottom jaws close down on top of each other is known as your 'bite'. If your teeth don't fit together properly, you could have malocclusion or 'bad bite', which can cause problems with your teeth, gums, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles in your face.
This misalignment, often referred to as TMJ disorder, can also cause some people to clench and grind their teeth at night. This can lead to facial pain, headaches, discomfort and clicking when biting or chewing, migraines as well as neck and shoulder pain, even back pain.
If you recognise any of these symptoms or suffer with these on a daily basis, you will need to see a dentist to treat your problems or they can refer you to a specialist if necessary.
In some cases, the treatment includes wearing a hard plastic appliance, known as a splint, on the teeth at night. We can make many of the splints here at the surgery. Some appliances are very straightforward to make, others require more complex records of the jaw and how the teeth slide across each other so that the dental technicians can construct the special splint accordingly. This is made to measure and fitted onto your bite accurately, so that when you bite on it, your teeth are in a position where your muscles are relaxed. This also stops your teeth from becoming worn down by grinding and protects them.
There are a variety of reason why you may have a jaw joint problem - one of which might be because there are missing teeth.
The important thing to do is see your dentist as soon as possible so your problem does not become worse over time and require more drastic measures to correct.