If you are suffering from something like tooth decay or gum disease, then you are suffering from a hygiene-based disorder. The problem has occurred because something has gone wrong with your preventive care and plaque has damaged your oral tissues. However, if you are suffering from a functional disorder, the structures that provide the framework and support to your oral cavity and smile have stopped working up to par. Learn more about addressing functional problems, so you can enjoy oral health with optimal function.
What Are Functional Problems?
Functional disorders typically include malocclusion, TMJ disorder, and bruxism. Let’s go a bit further into understanding each of these problems:
- Malocclusion: This is another term for “misalignment.” It may refer to misaligned teeth or the misalignment of both your teeth and jaws, which can make chewing, speaking, and even closing your mouth difficult.
- TMJ Disorder (TMD): This is a functional disorder that affects your jaw joints – or your TMJs (short for temporomandibular joints). Your joints function below their max capacity because of injury, stress, or strain.
- Bruxism: This is a disorder that occurs when a patient is consistently (yet involuntarily) grinding or clenching his or her teeth.
What Should I Do?
Fortunately, we can identify most functional disorders during a simple, six-month dental checkup – this is a good reason to keep up with your preventive care. Once we diagnose the problem, we will provide our patients with an appropriate treatment. Misalignment typically requires orthodontic care, while TMD and bruxism require noninvasive oral appliance therapy.