TMJ and Occlusal Disease
Occlusal disease is an extremely destructive process that can affect:
- TMJ (jaw joint)
- Periodontal (gum and bone) health
(The photos show gum recession, severe wear, and broken crowns and teeth from occlusal disease)
It is important to note that you can have occlusal disease without having TMJ pain symptoms. In many cases, the teeth pay the price and the patient is not aware of any muscle, joint, or neck pains. Even dentists are not always aware of these issues as we often just repair the damage without correcting or addressing the problem itself. The photos show some patients who have damaged their teeth due to the way the teeth meet together with respect to their jaw joints and muscles. Other factors, such as airway and sleep apnea further add to the complexity of treating this disease.
When patients lose bone around their teeth, it is not always because they do not take care of them. It is often due to the way the teeth meet together, or occusal disease. Patients and dentists should be aware of these issues and hopefully diagnose and correct the problem as opposed to constantly repairing as the destruction progresses.