When you think of it, the way the teeth mesh when closed together and during chewing function are the only real dictate of the positions of the TMJ’s, which are somewhat of a “hinge” affair. Unlike a door, however, that won’t close properly within its jamb if the hinges were placed incorrectly, the jaw joints, are somewhat pliable, having a cartilage disk between the ball and socket, and unlike the door hinges, they can be compressed or stretched out of their proper positions when the teeth contact to accommodate the off-bite. This is essentially verified by the fact that people without teeth rarely have “TMJ.” Even people with the well-made dentures can exhibit only 25% of the pressure on their TMJ’s and surrounding areas compared to that of people with their natural teeth. Improper teeth meshing, or malocclusion, can be a result of several factors, including a naturally poor bite, trauma, dental treatment such as fillings, crowns and bridges and orthodontic treatment that were undertaken without a consideration of how teeth relate to each other with proper occlusion, i.e., a healthy bite. I routinely see new patients with bites that don’t match their TMJ’s with the above cited symptoms who are unaware of them being related to their bite. I regularly see upper and lower crowns, bridges and fillings that don’t match, and around one half the patients I treat with TMJ symptoms have undergone orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist may have straightened the teeth, but the treatment ended up without consideration of the proper positioning of the TMJ’s.
For a thorough and detailed description of how TMJ problems are dealt within The Dental Wellness Center, “Bioesthetics, Oral Beauty, Function and Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMJ”) click on this link: http://www.longbeachholisticdentist.com/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=40459