Understanding Malocclusion & TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder)

TMD has become very common in the 21st century. It is estimated that up to 35 million Americans are affected by TMD and more women are diagnosed every year, by a substantial amount, than men. So, what’s causing this disorder to become so commonplace in our lives? For one, it’s an issue that has existed for a while but is only recently being diagnosed as TMD. One of the main causes of this big uptake is something known as Malocclusion.

What is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is simply defined as misaligned teeth. When your jaws are in the closed position all of your teeth should line up with and touch the tooth above or below it, if they do not than you have a form of Malocclusion. Studies have shown that approximately 80% of the population have either class one, two or three malocclusion, so if your teeth are showing signs of Malocclusion you’re not alone by any means.

How Can It Affect Your TMJ?

Although it is common, it is not something you should live with. Malocclusion has the potential to wreak havoc on your TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint). When your teeth and jaws don’t line up properly the TMJ has a hard time tracking and can become misaligned very easily.

Temporomandibular Joint disorder (TMJ)

But how did this problem become so common place? One of the most scientifically backed explanations is that we no longer following the dietary trends of our ancestors. Our predecessors ate an organic, nutrient rich diet (for the most part) that challenged the mechanics of their teeth, jaws and TMJ by force. Their diet would have consisted of raw vegetables and fruits and unprocessed meat. These foods would have put the muscles and joints in their jaw to the test from a very young age to build a strong foundation to help their jaw to develop properly.

Now-a-days we eat a very different diet – a soft food diet – that is often missing its physical and digestible challenge, due to the type of food it is or how processed it is. When our digestive functions, which chewing is part of, are not tested and built up from a young age and maintained as an adult you run the risk of developing several chronic problems.

What We Can Do to Help

If you believe you have severe Malocclusion we recommend you visit a dental or maxillofacial specialist before coming to us. However, chiropractic treatment can go great alongside dental care. Chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue manipulation can help alleviate pressure caused by misalignment and restore proper TMJ motion by realigning the jaw and the muscles that guide it. We also carry a variety of Nutritional supplements that can aid in getting you the nutrients you’re missing from your everyday diet. TMD can be painful, and it cause stress and anxiety. So, give us a call. We’re here to help!

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