Occlusal (bite) dysfunction therapy
Dr. Contardo's advanced training at the Pankey Institute included studying occlusal (bite) disease and learning how to treat it. Occlusal disease may present in many different ways: excessive tooth wear, cracked, loosened, or broken teeth, bone loss, periodontal disease, sensitivity, sore jaw or facial muscles, sleep apnea, and headaches. Patients may seek treatment for periodontal disease, headaches, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), neck pain, etc. without knowing that the underlying cause of their problems is that their bite is dysfunctional.
Occlusal disease is an imbalance in the stomatognathic system, which is comprised of the jaw joints, jaw muscles, bite (teeth and how they come together), and the bone support around the teeth. To treat it, Dr. Contardo studies the relationships between the components to understand where the imbalance is and how to correct it. The goal is to achieve and maintain balance in the system.
Diagnosing occlusal disease starts with evaluation of any signs and symptoms during an examination. If indicated, bite models are made, which allow Dr. Contardo to study the bite and plan therapy, and measurements of TM range of motion are taken. Once a diagnosis is made, Dr. Contardo will provide treatment options
Appliance Therapy is an advanced technique that uses a bite splint to create a balanced bite while your own system gradually moves into a stable state. Much like an orthodontist adjusts arch wires and during orthodontic treatment, Dr. Contardo adjusts the appliance over the course of therapy as everything move into proper, balanced alignment.