Dr. Christopher Paulson treats complex dental problems at Arbor Dental Associates in Novi, MI. A highly trained dentist and graduate of the Dawson Academy, Dr. Paulson has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) which can detrimentally affect the bite and cause a range of painful symptoms.

During an initial consultation, Dr. Paulson will thoroughly examine all aspects of your occlusal system (teeth, gums, jaw joints and muscles) to look for signs of imbalance or instability that can be the underlying cause of your dental problem. In many cases, worn or damaged teeth indicate the probability of teeth grinding, a common sign of a bite disorder, commonly known as TMJ.

Left untreated, bite problems can often compromise the results of any dentistry you may receive and even lead to tooth loss.

Common Signs of TMJ

There are a wide range of symptoms for bite disorders such as TMJ, but recognizing the most common signs and seeking treatment can avoid tooth damage or loss:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Ear pain or feeling of fullness
  • Jaw pain or discomfort
  • Difficulty chewing properly
  • Worn or damaged teeth
  • Teeth grinding and jaw clenching

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching often occurs during sleep and can go unnoticed in patients until it begins to damage the teeth and gums. It can also be the underlying cause of other symptoms listed above. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms discuss them with Dr. Paulson at your next visit to Arbor Dental Associates.

TMJ Therapy: What To Expect

Dr. Paulson offers a range of treatment options to address TMJ, including recommending lifestyle changes to reduce stress that may trigger teeth grinding and jaw clenching- two common signs of a bite problem. The goal is always to reduce the pain and disruption associated with symptoms and to restore healthy balance to the bite for lasting oral health. Depending on your dental health needs, options can include:

Mouth guard or splint therapy: a custom mouth guard or splint is often a conservative first step, used early in treatment and not needed as a long term solution. A dental split can be helpful to help identify a comfortable and stable bite position.

Bite correction
: bite correction is designed to bring the teeth into proper contact through restorative dental treatments. This allows the jaw to open and close in its proper position and eliminates stress on the jaw joints.

Orthodontics: in some cases, orthodontia to straighten misaligned teeth is recommended to restore balance to the bite.

Complete Dentistry and Your Dental Health

Dr. Paulson is a graduate of the Dawson Academy, where he learned the principles of complete dentistry that provide the foundation of your dental care at Arbor Dental Associates.

Complete dentistry is a comprehensive approach to your oral health that considers ALL aspects of the occlusal system in the diagnosis and treatment of any dental problem. Optimal oral health is the result of teeth, gums and jaw joints that are both healthy and functioning harmoniously.

Dr. Paulson uses the diagnostic wizard to perform a thorough dental examination during your initial visit and at all subsequent routine visits, looking for signs of wear or dysfunction that may affect your dental health.

Addressing an imbalance in the bite, such as a TMD, is the key to dentistry that is lasting and results that are comfortable.