Category Archives: Jaw Growth and Bite Problems

The Chewing Mechanism and Orthodontic Health

orthodontic health

Let’s narrow our focus now, leaving ideas pertaining to overall health, and visiting what we call the chewing mechanism or orthodontic health.  Of course, what we use to chew, the jaw joints, teeth, and chewing  muscles and nerves, are  used for a variety of other functions, chewing is the most active use of these parts of our body.  We also use the chewing mechanism when we speak, breath and make facial expressions. Let’s look at the characteristics of a healthy chewing mechanism. In the chewing action you need the jaw joint to be smooth, flexible, and comfortable. The second area involved is the bite, which should be solid, stable, and easy to use. The last area is the muscles and nerves need to be relaxed, comfortable and balanced. If all works well, then you won’t need Dr. Kellings’ help, but when they are not working right you are in pain then Dr. Kelling is the person you need. He can diagnose where the problem lies then provide you with a treatment plan.

Jaw Joint
Open your jaw all the way then shut it. You will see that the movement is done by TMJ which is the temporo-mandibular joint. The bone that forms the side of the skull is the temporal bone and the mandible (the lower jaw). It is a small disc of cartilage that separates the bone so that the mandible may slide easily whenever you talk, swallow, kiss, etc. Damage to this complex triangular structure, just in front of the ear, can cause a lot of discomfort. To locate this joint put your finger on the triangular structure in front of the ear. Move your finger just slightly forward then press firmly while you open your jaw all the way then close it. You can feel the joint motion in your ear canal.

What causes pain in this joint? It is because of displacement of the cartilage disc that caused pressure with stretching of the associate sensory nerves. The popping or clicking occurs when the disk snaps into place as the jaw moves. The chewing mechanism may spasm, not function efficiently, then cause pain and tenderness. Causes of these problems are trauma to the jaw, teeth grinding, excess gum chewing, stress and psychological factors, of course, improper bite with a malpositioned jaw, then last but not least arthritis.

In cases of injury, ice packs soon after the injury help to reduce swelling. Stress reduction, relaxation techniques, NSAID, muscle relaxants are used for relief. Treatment can involve a splint to align the upper and lower teeth, and last but not least surgery. After surgery the MD may send you to an orthodontist for further treatment, and management of the joint and pain.

The Bite
The bite should be solid, stable, and easy to do. Teeth, muscles, jaw joint and more, are all parts of the chewing system. All of these parts must work together for proper functioning to maintain orthodontic health . When one or more of the parts does not work right or malfunctions, problems develop.

Chewing Mechanism

A very common problem we see is a disharmony of the chewing system. In a healthy chewing system we find harmony and no pain. The muscles are relaxed. The joint is stable and the teeth work in a protected environment. When teeth bite together in the “normal” bite, all of the teeth work in a protected space, the teeth should contact all exactly at the same time along the axis of the tooth. Our goal at Raleigh Orthodontics is to promote orthodontic health as well as physical health, well-being, to prevent disease in all of our patients.

Muscles and Nerves
Some of the symptoms (problems people have happen) related to a Bad Bite are:

Tooth Problems:
• Tooth with a little pain
• Pain that is severe with a tooth, then death of the nerve that
will lead to a root canal
• Loss of a tooth
• A tooth that hurts with cold and air movement.
• (abfraction) or “melting” of a tooth surface.
• Tooth enamel that is worn down by contact with something.
• Chipped, tipping, with misalignment of teeth

Muscle Problems:
• Regular headache
• (headache pain) Migraine type
• Muscle spasm
• (Radiating pain to other muscles, teeth, eyes, ears, neck) are called trigger points. In severe cases, the
whole upper body will become involved.
• (jaw feels tired) Sore, easily fatigued muscles
Use caution—severe pain cases should be evaluated by a qualified team of Doctors, Specialist in Dental problems with the symptoms you are exhibiting.

Bone Problems:
• Recession of gum tissue around the teeth
• Loss of supporting bone around the teeth
• Horizontal bone loss around front and back teeth

Joint Problems:
• Jaw joint pain in front of the ears one or both sides (sometimes deep into the ear. (The pain feels like that of an earache.)
• Popping, clicking, grinding, and locking of the jaw joint.
• Joint surfaces melt down.
• Protective disc deterioration.

Nerve Problems:
• Precision dental sensory perception is lost.
• Throughout teeth, head, neck, and upper shoulders have radiating pain. ((WARNING: radiating pain to left jaw and left arm may be a sign
a heart related issue.)

Functional and Cosmetic Problems:
• (Teeth disappear behind lips) collapsed bite.
• (Deepening of wrinkles) collapsed lower face.
• (Sore, wet spots on corners of the mouth) drooping smile.
• (Lips become thin and lack fullness) loss of lip support.
• Cannot chew effectively.
• Swallowing problems

Orthodontic Treatment

What is done if you have any of these problems? Because a bad bite problem is quite complex, a diagnosis is necessary before or treatment is started. Diagnosis of the dental problem will uncover the cause of the problem so proper treatment can be planned out. It is necessary to understand the cause of the problems to be able to create a proper treatment plan. You are doing this to sort out the medical problems for referral to a physician, with dental problems being handled by a dentist in the specialty that is needed. So before good dental treatment can begin a proper diagnosis must be made.

The final process is described above and it requires a significant commitment on your part to get the best results. Investing both your time and money allow you the best orthodontic treatment possible. There are many options to decrease the amount of time and cost of treatment, but may not provide you with the best results. Our goal is to work with you to find out what is your best option, so that you can reach the desired outcome. We want you to have that “Great Smile”.

Orthodontic Health

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is an external link for your use:  http://www.americanboardortho.orthodontic health

Awareness of Lifestyle for Orthodontic Health

orthodontic health

Orthodontic Health

To evaluate the probability of great Orthodontic Health, we need to breakdown the cycle from the time of the accident when the ball is set in motion. The body is affected as a result of the awareness of a condition that will affect the body.


Several conditions have manifested themselves as a result of an accident. They are: TMJ, whiplash, and disc displacement. Actions that are now limited as a result of the accident are: jaw motion and muscle tension/relaxation. The longer the decreased mobility and presence of pain the more the feelings head toward a feelings of hopelessness, awareness of pain leads to awareness of anger. Thoughts head toward negative emotions and thoughts with “Why me?” & “I can’t do anything right!”

Remember the statement in a previous blog that said: Sometimes it shows that a negative emotional state gives people a better chance to cope with situations than a positive state. People who seem to be in a positive mood often are more prone to judgmental mistakes. But in a more negative mood they tend to be more correct in their decisions.

Again the longer our conditions exist the longer the effect it has on the patient. Socially the family is affected due to the patient’s health with the lack of ability to perform duties that they are usually responsible for handling, and then negative obstacles’ pop up: strained family relationship for one. Due to the lack of healing of
health problems that are from the accident of the conditions we remain out of work. These problems and more are used as an excuse for missing work.

Our actions that substantiate the negative response to the accident area: substance abuse related to missed work due to pain and abuse of prescription medication. The more pain, the more abuse of meds the more the family dynamics are affected and the patient is under pressure. This is where the clenching of the teeth and tension on muscles increase with more awareness of pain is increased.

After all of our actions start to head toward “Chronic Behavior”, it is not always a good thing. We again break this down into: Feelings-depression and frustration due to the lack of health improvement of our condition. Socially we feel we should get special treatment from friends and family. Actions that place a negative feeling on us are: over use of health and medical services seeking drug therapies, abuse of prescription drugs for pain. Now the final thought is: “I’ll never get better.”

All of the actions, feelings, and results do not help our condition improve. This is where you need to build new skills toward a more positive lifestyle that will support the patient in making those changes. Seek help with your support system to make the changes health changes you need to make and awareness of what you need to. The people from these groups will help you achieve your goals and stay on track. They are: family, friends, and the medical team. What this shows is that a negative attitude can be turned around to a more positive attitude with a little help and guidance by changing our feelings that affect our actions.

Orthodontic Health

For information about Dr. Bert and his practice please contact him by email at this website: Raleigh Orthodontics

If you want more information here is a link for your use: Health