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Craniomandibular dysfunction and functional therapy

The temporomandibular joint, teeth, periodontal ligaments and the muscles of the jaw, tongue, pharynx and neck are normally harmoniously coordinated.

Many people have a functional disorder, but this does not always lead to complaints because the masticatory system can adapt to pathological changes to a certain extent. Pain only occurs when the limits of adaptation are exceeded in this system. This leads to increased muscle tension, which in turn can be transmitted to the teeth.


What are the causes of craniomandibular dysfunction?

  • Changes in the bite ( e.g. due to missing teeth)
  • Stress 
  • Traumatic changes in the cervical spine or temporomandibular joints
  • Excessive biting of fingernails
  • Bad sitting posture


Typical complaints are:

  • Tense facial muscles in the morning when waking up
  • Pain when opening and closing the lower jaw
  • Unexplained toothache
  • Facial pain / headaches
  • Tension in neck and shoulders
  • Back pain
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Cracking of the jaw joint during opening and closing
  • Pain when chewing
  • Excessive tooth wear


Diagnosis is usually made with clinical and instrumental functional analysis. Instrumentally the muscle load is measured with Teethan.

The most effective immediate and permanent measure is the occlusal splint



The advantages of the bite splint are:

  • Protection of the enamel from excessive wear and tear
  • Relief of the temporomandibular joints
  • Relaxation and pain relief for tense chewing muscles
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism) is reduced       


In the whole masticatory system it fulfills the following functions:

  • It stops further joint damage
  • reduces cracking in the jaw joint
  • increases a too low bite
  • corrects the position of the temporomandibular joints
  • eliminates disturbing contacts in the bite
  • supplements missing contact surfaces


If improperly fitted crowns and misaligned teeth are the cause of the dysfunction, they should be corrected.

The splint is made of plastic and is manufactured in the laboratory. The results of the previous examinations are also used for its production.

Again, the bite and the correctly ground-in splint are checked with Teethan.

The splint is fitted into your mouth in such a way that your jaws return to their ideal position and the healing process is initiated.

Multidisciplinary treatments are often useful for treating CMD. - Dentists, orthodontists, speech therapists, osteopaths.



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Dentist Dr. Martin Rubner

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