In today’s society, most chiropractors don’t address the bite at all! A bite balance is a term
we utilize in our office describing an imbalance in the bite where, by closing the mouth and
biting down, two teeth hit first, instead of all the teeth touching at the same time.
Over time, we all begin to use one side of our mouth over the other. Whether it be clenching or
grinding at night (or during the day), having worn or wearing braces for realignment, recent or
not-so-recent dental work where your mouth has been open for an extended period of time, or
there has been some sort of jaw trauma, we start to favor one side. Muscles shorten and tighten
on one side while the other side is stretched and pulled, causing the jaw to be pulled out of
alignment. This means our teeth don’t come together properly. The result can be anything from
tooth wear to chronic decay, TMJ problems to chronic neck issues, neck adjustments not holding
to cranial misalignments, headaches to shoulder pain, etc.
The best way to check and see if you have a jaw muscle imbalance aside from the obvious
tightness, pain, clicking and/or popping, is to look in the mirror, open your mouth and see if
the jaw deviates to one side or the other. If it does, we have a technique in our office designed
to address your problem as well as a natural holistic dentist we work with, who understands
occlusal adjustments and can help balance the bite and assess whether a bite guard is needed.