When a person has an uncomfortable bite, it can be annoying or actually painful. Many people move the jaw around to try and find a comfortable place to bite.
But when the TMJ is damaged or the occlusion (bite) has changed, there is no “Happy Spot” because something has altered the bite. The original bite is gone.
This can be caused be trauma, arthritis, habits like nail biting, or new restorations. Moving the jaw around and trying to find a comfortable bite that no longer exists, can damage the bones in the TMJ (jaw joint).
This is called “parafunction” a habit of moving the jaw randomly while searching for the old comfortable bite position.
Sometimes the patient can find a bite that is less painful than the original pain, but this also can place the jaw in a different, unnatural position that can damage the TMJ bones and cause sore muscles.
In our office, we do an “Occlusal Analysis” that finds where the natural, comfortable jaw position is and shows how to get the good occlusion (bite) back.
If you’re interested in setting up an appointment to have your TMJ looked at call (714) 847-9900 or use our handy contact form.