Healthy Facial Muscles , Healthy SmileNovember 1, 2010
There are times that patients seek dental treatment beyond just fixing cavities. More and more, patients are seeking specialized dentistry to correct a variety of problems including an imperfect bite, facial muscle pain and jaw joint problems.
Abnormal Forces on muscles of the face?
Muscles around the face are responsible for controlling the lower jaw, the only bone in the face that can be moved. The lower jaw can be opened or closed up to a certain length until something stops it. In other words, it can be opened up to a point that the muscles cannot be stretched any longer and it closes until it meets a resistance. When the upper and lower teeth meet, jaw movement stops. How the upper and lower teeth meet (occlusion, or bite) can affect the muscles that move them. If the bite is unbalanced and less that ideal, muscles on one side of the face will work harder than the other side.
This imbalance will force facial muscles to work harder when they should actually be resting. These constant and heavier than normal muscle forces puts pressure on teeth and eventually move the teeth out of place, making the problems get worse. In younger patients, because they are still developing, these muscle problems can have serious effect on facial development.
In an upcoming blog, we will discuss how we at NYC Smile Design, diagnose the problem, which is a crucial step in treatment.