Head, neck and facial pain (HNFP) caused by occlusal interference is a very common problem that affects over 40 million people. Many of them are patients going in and out of dental offices every day undetected. In addition, recent research has found that eliminating pain due to muscle spasms caused by occlusal interference with bite treatment may decrease the responsiveness along the afferent fibers that travel along the same neural pathways, making patients less susceptible to other types of chronic pain, such as tension headaches, migraines and fibromyalgia. However, since most patients do not associate treatment for HNFP with the dentist, dentists must persistently question patients about any pain symptoms they experience
as well as utilize Best-Bite™ Patient Education Brochures and Movies in common places, like the reception room, to help raise their patients’ awareness of this common dysfunction. While the Best-Bite™ Discluder’s over 50 year old proven methodology can assist the doctor in making the diagnosis of occlusal interference faster and easier, you must carefully follow these instructions to ensure that you and your patients obtain the maximum benefit. Correct use of the device, as detailed in these instructions, the book, Stop Headaches Now and CD-ROM Taking the Bite Out of Headaches will help to ensure accurate diagnosis and help set realistic treatment expectations resulting in consistently successful treatment. Remember, using the Best-Bite™ Discluder to identify patients whose pain is probably
not caused by occlusal interference and avoiding unsuccessful treatment is equally as valuable as identifying and treating those who will be responsive to bite treatment.
The jaw is a lever. To avoid stress, muscle spasms, and fatigue in the main positioning muscles (lateral pterygoid) and main elevating muscles (massater, internal pterygoid, and temporalis), the teeth must not force the jaw (condyles) out of the centered position in the jaw socket. If the teeth do pull the jaw out of the centered position in the socket, the bones and ligaments will not be able to create a stable fulcrum for the jaw joints so the muscles will be forced to hold the jaw joint stable to allow it to function under force. The jaw muscles, however, were not designed to function under a continuous load. Prolonged muscle contraction can often lead to muscle fatigue, strain, and sometimes spasm and pain. This is no different than when a person over-stresses any other muscle group, such as in weight lifting. After many repetitions, the muscles will fatigue, possibly causing pain or stimulate neural pathways that trigger other types of head, neck, and facial pain. The only position where the jaw joint is braced without the necessity for continuous muscle activity and fatigue is the one in which the condyle is seated in the center of the jaw socket. This centered position is the position that the condyles would naturally assume if the teeth did not force the condyles out of a centered position in the socket. Best-Bite separates the teeth and guides the jaw joints to center so that the muscles can relax relieving any related head, neck, or facial pain.