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Everything is connected…

Imagine a tiny sesame seed that gets lodged under your tongue for the rest of your life. How would that seed change the way your tongue moved, how you ate certain foods and, even, how you talked? Perhaps, now you are able to imagine what life could be like to have just one rogue tooth that is too high or slightly out of position.

Even a little bit of crookedness in your bite can result in major health problems over the years. Because? Because the body in which you live is a coordinated system… a machine that is finely tuned.

There is a collection of tendons, muscles, nerves and lymph nodes that connect the jaw with other bones of the neck and skull. If you have lower and upper teeth that aren’t meshing perfectly, each time you bring your teeth together to chew, bite, swallow, talk, sing, etc. – your jaw is trying to create balance and control – causing strain.

Unbalanced teeth can affect your whole body, or only one part of it.

The slightest imbalance in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can result in:

  • unsteady balance
  • chronic headaches
  • nighttime bruxing and clenching
  • tooth chipping and breakage
  • sitting hunched over
  • weakening and stiffening of your body
  • poor oxygen intake
  • muscle soreness

and many, many more symptoms.

You may be skeptical at first, however, simply adjusting:

  • the built in protective guidance system (upper and lower eye teeth),
  • the precise cutting clearance of your front teeth,
  • and the contact points of the teeth (where they touch with your mouth closed),

can be absolutely critical to your body’s systems performing correctly. And, it all begins with a good bite.

If your bite is unbalanced, it has a negative ripple effect from head to toe. Let’s start with your teeth.

Your Expensive Crowns and/or Your Natural Teeth

Malocclusion (a bad bite) will start to chip and break your own natural teeth, PLUS any expensive crowns or veneers you’ve had put in, at, or around the age of twenty-five. Your teeth continually collide with each other and you’re left with chipped and worn teeth, gum recession and, in the worst case scenario, a collapsed smile. What is a “collapsed” or “shrunken” smile? It’s called that because your teeth have been reduced to little teeth, you look like an old person who isn’t wearing their dentures.

People who clench and grind their teeth are often told, ”You just need to get rid of any stress in your life. You should go get those needles in your back.” I’m here to tell you that doing away with stress won’t move and reshape your teeth so they fit together comfortably and happily. Try seating ten people at a dining table built for eight. Soon, as each starts with their salad, they’re gonna begin nudging, straining and all out shoving as everyone tries to get comfortable. Telling everyone to “relax” will not make the table bigger.

That scenario happens in your mouth every night.

The bottom molars are starting to crack because the top molars are smacking them upside their cusps. The eye teeth aren’t keeping the back teeth apart and the front teeth just get worn down from all the commotion in the back. Your jaw muscles flex and push just attempting to find a balance but when all is said and done, they’ve just made everything worse and caused more damage.

Blocked Airways

Your tongue is connected to your lower jaw and when you have a misaligned bite, it acts similar to a pillow. It’s used like a cushion to help your jaw relax.

When you breathe through your mouth, your tongue needs to stay out of the way. It should settle down to the floor of your mouth, letting air pass over the top of it. However, if your tongue is busy trying to help your jaw muscles keep your teeth from grinding and clenching, it can lead to improper tongue placement, which may contribute to snoring. After the situation worsens, your risk goes up to develop sleep apnea, a life-threatening disease.

The Muscles Of The Face, Neck and Back

Malocclusion will lead to unbalanced jaw muscles. Because your teeth are not aligned with each other, they aren’t going to provide enough support for your facial muscles needed for chewing and swallowing. These muscles become tired and sore which translates into discomfort throughout the arms and shoulders, the head and neck, the back and your face.

These over-worked muscles can result in muscle stiffness and inflammation that will materialize in the form of migraines, headaches, earaches, muscle tenderness, facial discomfort, a sore jaw and a number of other symptoms. This misalignment can result ininflammation and spasms in the muscles throughout your jaw, face neck and shoulders. Then the nerves that go down your arms become pinched. What happens then? You can get a feeling of numbness and tingling in your arms, fingers and hands.

Of course, you may not be aware of what’s happening to you since it all usually happens while you’re sleeping. Then, you wake up with tingles in your arms and hands. Some people, however, will clench their jaws all throughout the day.

Inflamed And Affected Nerves 

Your muscles and your nerves in your jaw and face are intricately connected. Therefore, when your bite is unaligned, the nerves are also affected. In fact, there is a major facial nerve (trigeminal nerve) that exits the skull very near the temporomandibular joint. This nerve is involved with controlling your smiling, chewing, laughing and talking. When the overlying muscles of the temporomanibular joint become inflamed and swollen, this nerve can be pressured. If the trigeminal nerve then becomes inflamed, it can feel as if the whole side of your face is numb or, in the worst case scenario, feel like it’s on fire.

Compensation In The Spine

You might not know it, but there is a relationship that includes your bite, the posture of your head and the posture of your entire body. This overall compensation for your bad bite can cause neck strain and postural issues. If it continues unabated, this strain on your back becomes a source of other muscular/skeletal problems.

Every part of our bodies and all the things that they do for us is intimately and intrinsically associated with one another. When one function isn’t performing properly, there is a cause and effect on the rest of the body. A poorly aligned jaw can cause a number of physical and cosmetic changes to your teeth, your face and your posture. It can affect your ability to properly breathe. It can increase sensitivity and tenderness in your muscles which has an impact on your nerves. The body depends on all the numerous parts to interact in unison. And it all begins at the top. Jaw joint alignment is critical to your overall health and wellness.

Malocclusion Affects Your Entire Body

Our Professional Philosophy

Along the way, we realized it wasn’t the teeth we particularly cared about. The people are. We would like to give them back what they may have lost.

Treating the individual is our main concern. This is the key. Treating you – addressing your precise, individual set of problems. There isn’t some doc-in-a-box approach here. The important component with Gaudio Cosmetic Dentistry is understanding your concerns and problems. We give you options and support for your decision based on your needs.

Achieving Functional Dentistry

Functional dentistry encompasses the physical interaction of your teeth, jaw joint and muscles, and if they are working together to allow you to chew, bite and speak comfortably and precisely.

Occlusion is one of the biggest components of functional dentistry. Occlusion deals with how your teeth fit together including contact between teeth when chewing, biting down and resting. Your teeth are similar to the teeth in a set of gears – they must fit together precisely or problems occur such as cracking, wearing and breaking of the teeth.

If your bite is misaligned (malocclusion), it can cause your teeth and dental work to crack, chip or break, wear down and flatten your teeth, making for sensitive or sore teeth and receding gums. Also, if left untreated, it can bring about more severe problems including TMJ disease, tooth loss and periodontal disease.

If you notice your steering wheel is shaking and vibrating when you are driving, you know that the issue is not in the steering wheel. You need to have your steering aligned and your tires balanced. This is very similar to what happens with your mouth. You might be experiencing headaches, a stiff neck and sore jaw muscles. But, the true dilemma is your teeth. They need to be aligned and balanced.

Assessing and monitoring function and occlusion is crucial for all patients, not just those needing treatments including repair, movement or tooth removal. When the machine, your mouth, is working smoothly, there is very little wear and tear on the teeth and surrounding bone and muscle.

At Gaudio Cosmetic Dentistry, we choose to be proactive about treating patient’s occlusion and function right from the start, instead of waiting for problems to happen. This not only helps patients save their real teeth, it also prevents possible problems down the road that would be costly to repair.

“How does Dr. Gaudio know if there is a possible problem with my occlusion?”

During regular dental check-ups Dr. Gaudio and the Gaudio Cosmetic Dentistry team look for signs of abnormal wear and tear on teeth and dental work. They also record an oral history of how patients have been feeling, whether they are experiencing headaches, jaw or tooth pain or sensitivity.

“What happens if I am experiencing symptoms of possible malocclusion?”

Dr. Gaudio will then begin the process of diagnosing by taking photos, creating diagnostic models and using the face bow measuring tool to gather accurate positional information. Using this information Dr. Gaudio is able to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

“My old dentist never talked about the importance of the way my teeth fit together and I don’t really understand why!

That, actually, is not very surprising. Schools of dentistry have generally spent little time teaching about occlusion because there was no universal teachable system for diagnosing and treating malocclusion. Then, because of the intricacy of the bioengineering and physics involved in proper occlusion, there are many dentists who gloss over this very critical aspect of a person’s oral health. They simply don’t understand it either.

Just in the last 10 to 20 years, more research has been finished on proper occlusion. However, to really understand and master the topic, many hours of additional education are needed. Dr. Gaudio has received that advanced malocclusion training and has the expertise and technology to diagnose and successfully treat malocclusion.

On top of that, He has also invested in BiteFX, animated video software, to easily and quickly aid any patient understand what is happening in their mouth “machine.” He also uses diagnostic models so patients can hold a model of their teeth in their hands and see their problem in 3D. Dr. Gaudio also captures diagnostic photos to help determine proper treatment to show patients what is happening with their bite before, during and after treatment. Educating and sharing with patients so they are able to make informed decisions is very important to Dr. Gaudio.

Your Jaw Joint Works The Hardest

Q: What joint in your body is used the most??
A: It’s not your knee. It’s not your hip. It’s your Temporomandibular Joint.

Think about it for a minute! When you chew, talk, sing, swallow, yawn – you are using the TMJ. It is one of the least recognized and under-appreciated joints in the body. Eating, drinking, speaking – all extremely difficult without properly functioning and healthy jaw joints.

Snap, crackle and pop. Great for breakfast cereal. Not so great for your jaw…

Clicking, cracking and popping in your jaw joint is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ. You might experience pain with the clicking sound your TMJ makes and in some cases, the cracking is so loud, it can be heard by others when you chew or talk.

A displaced disc located in your jaw causes the sound coming from your mouth. A normal and healthy TMJ should be quiet while functioning. Clicking, popping and cracking are signs of an unstable jaw joint and an indicator that these symptoms should be checked.

Something doesn’t feel right . . .

Do you remember when you were young and you had to match all the shapes into their corresponding cut-out? You learned early on, no matter how hard you tried, the triangle was not going to fit into the circle. The same is true for your jaw. There is only one exact way your upper and lower jaws fit together. Other variations simply don’t work, no matter how hard you try.

A proper, balanced bite will insure your jaw stays in its natural relaxed state and healthy. An unbalanced bite strains and stresses the jaw and tightens muscles, which create issues in the nerves, joints, circulation and muscles.

Form and functionality are a must. . .

So many basic functions (drinking, swallowing, chewing, breathing, talking) are completely dependent on a healthy TMJ. You should be checked by Dr. Gaudio if you experience cracking, popping, limited movement or overall functionality issues with your jaw. If addressed at an early stage, it can prevent more significant problems from developing down the road.

What Is Malocclusion? BiteFX® Makes It Simple.

Has a dentist ever mentioned that you’ve got a problem with how your teeth come together when you bite down?

And, being a curious individual, you wanted to understand what they were saying. That’s when they began freehand sketching primitive cartoons of what came to look like someone’s skull. Then, they dug under a counter and unearthed some plastic educational demonstration contraption from the 70’s. Thank goodness it was now as clear as mud.

Gaudio Cosmetic Dentistry uses a state-of-the-art, 3D, digital presentation program called BiteFX™ that employs elementary computer animations (no Pictionary™, “guess what I’m drawing” stick figures) to demonstrate your jaw pain in a way that anyone can understand.

BiteFX helps patients with bite problems figure out for themselves what’s going on with their teeth.

As a logical next step, it becomes easy for patients to see what must be done to fix the problem.

Using the BiteFX educational system, we can show you exactly why:

  • your bite is causing you so much inflammation and agonizing discomfort.
  • your teeth have been continually ground down to stubs.
  • you keep experiencing stabbing pains in your jaw joint.
  • you wake up most mornings with a nagging tension headache.

BiteFX makes a multi-faceted concept easy to conceptualize and, more significantly, makes it easy for you to choose a step-by-step course of action that will take away your unpleasant symptoms and get you back to enjoying life again.

Relief Can Literally Be Just Minutes Away.

And, so, we urge you to take six minutes at this time. that experts say can make a positive impact on how you enjoy life.the rest of your life. Simply watch this educational video that uses the BiteFX system, and in just six minutes you’ll know why you grind your teeth at night, have recurring headaches, get stabbing pains in your temples and more.

Dr. Gaudio has undertaken advanced training for the successful treatment of a mismatched bite.

What’s more, you’ll see how easy it can be to quickly get relief at Gaudio Cosmetic Dentistry.

Contact

Gaudio Cosmetic Dentistry

Joseph Gaudio, DDS

530 East Main Street • PO Box 724 • Chester, NJ 07930

(908) 879-4001

Office Hours

Monday

 

Closed

Tuesday

 

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday

 

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday

 

7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Friday

 

7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Saturday/Sunday

 

Closed

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