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For the hearing impaired:
Hello, I’m Dr. Michaelangelo Aust and welcome to today’s bite size bit. Today we’re going to talk about pain in the joints and we’re going to talk about Occlusal Disease. Back in 1972 there was a title called Title 9 and you can google the Wikipedia page about it. Basically what it pertained to was women in sports. In Wisconsin our girls start playing hockey at a very early age. I don’t know when the last time was that you watched a female sports team play, but they are aggressive. We’re discovering that as women have certain hormonal changes, at certain points, there is this thing called joint laxity. Where the tendons and ligaments are together, they can loosen up a little bit. If you ‘get your bell rung’ and you’re not wearing the proper protective equipment, you’re going to have permanent damage.
Our lower jaw joint is all one bone. Where it attaches, right in front of our ears is the most complicated joint in our whole body. Another thing might be Taekwondo, if you get a kick to the head without wearing a good mouth piece to protect you. If that jaw gets jarred, the damage can be permanent. These children are still growing. It can occur in men, but it’s mostly occurring in women. Orthodontists like that we’re discovering this, because when do you know that you are done as an orthodontist? When the teeth are straight and the anterior teeth do what is called coupling, meaning they come together. That’s really the end of the case for the orthodontist. What happens is that you get kids that have anterior open bites that are really severe. If your a patient that has had braces in the past, as an adult you may find that your teeth are opening up in the front and you have to have the braces redone. The head and neck is all one system, and this can be a sign that the back end of the system can not be performing properly.
With car accidents or sports related injuries in females, these are things you need to look for and take seriously. Orthodontists love it, because it gives them an explanation as to why we’re not able to finish the case or finish it in a compromised fashion. There are a lot of appliances orthodontists use. The reason for them is to restrict growth, like head gear. A lot of times it is because for the bottom jaw that has potentially been damaged, your withholding growth to let the damaged bottom jaw catch up.
There are are children in my care right now and we make custom sports guards in the office. I’m really happy that there will e women out there, one day, that say: “My dentist was really progressive and he convinced my parents to get this sports guard for me. That’s why my jaw doesn’t hurt any worse than what it does.” When you come into the office, make sure that you bring your school logo and name and we can put those on the sports guards themselves. Parents always ask: “My kid’s teeth are coming in. Am I going to need a new one?” The answer is absolutely, yeah. You have to look at whether you want a life time of debilitating trauma, because you weren’t protecting them correctly? I firmly believe that one day, when I’m old and grey, I’ll look back and this will be the same as when the law passed and we had to wear bike helmets. I remember thinking that this was the most ridiculous thing. why would anybody make me wear a helmet? Then I’m going down a country road, a semi truck goes by me and a rock sticks in the helmet. I see that and think to myself, I’m really glad I had the helmet. I think this is going to go that route.
You have to protect your children when they’re playing sports. If you have a history of trauma, like an accident or sports related injuries and you have pain or your bottom jaw has never fit together properly, these are things you have to talk about to your dentist and have evaluated.
One of the other things, for people that grow into a normal position, about 30% of the populations grind their teeth, fiercely. About one night of heavy grinding is equal to approximately 100 days worth of wear. So, you can take a year off of you teeth, in the better part of a week. You can do a year’s worth of damage very quickly. These are people that clench or grind in their sleep, have big jaw muscles. They get pain. There are appliances that we can use or Botox. I use Botox for my own grinding. I certainly don’t use it to prevent wrinkles. I was going to say that part with a straight face, but who wants to get wrinkles? That’s certainly a wonderful wave of the future, but I digress.
So, if your concerned about damage to the joints, talk to your dentist. Grinding is something that you need to protect yourself from. There gimmicky ones at the store. Truth be told, if there soft and you put them in your mouth, you’re going to have them have n your mouth and you’re going to be chomping away on them. If you put something soft in your mouth your body thinks it has to chew it up and swallow it. They really are best made by your dentist. These are the two things I wanted to talk about today: the TMJ and pain and the grinding in the muscles. This is Dr. Michaelangelo Aust of Modern Family Dentist and I certainly hope you enjoyed today’s bite size bit. I’ll see you soon.