Teeth, jaw, muscles and jaw joints normally work together in harmony. Our masticatory system can however slip out of balance, for example through overloading by grinding teeth or an incorrectly fitted prosthesis. In dentistry, a disruption of the masticatory system is also known as cranio-mandibular dysfunction (CMD).
Examples of possible problems are facial pain and headaches without a clear cause, pain, cracking and restricted movement in the jaw joints, tension of the masticatory muscles, neck, shoulder or back problems, as well as tinnitus (noises in the ear).
We will discover the cause of your problems by means of a clinical functional diagnosis, where we feel your jaw joints and muscles and listen for cracking or friction noises. We also analyse your bite. If required, we will use a facebow. This is a lightweight measuring frame that is fastened to several points on your head and will record, quite painlessly, your individual mouth and jaw movements.
Treatment of the CMD
After this, treatment can begin. Many disruptions of the masticatory system can be treated with individual dental splints (relaxation, positioning, fixed splints or grinding splints). The adjustment of a poorly fitted prosthesis can also be helpful in order to restore a harmonious bite.
It may be advisable to continue treatment with a specialised physiotherapist.
Find comprehensive information on CMD in the Dental Adviser.