Keyway Wear Patterns

Disclaimer: These preliminary ‘Self Tests’ may help you understand that though pain can be a significant indicator, it is not the only signal for TMJ dysfunction. A final diagnosis will be required by a professional like Dr. Eddie Siman. If you feel severe pain or you know you cannot do some of these exercises please do not attempt them.

Bring your front teeth on top edge to edge with the front teeth on the bottom. Is there a place where they are a tight fitting match?. This is a result of wearing down the front teeth by grinding over and over, making a match between the upper and lower front teeth. This is important because it only happens when the bite on the back teeth is strained and the jaw muscles and joints require you to move forward from that strained position.

When you slide your lower jaw forward on the backs of your upper teeth till they touch tip to tip, you create a more stable position, but it is not ideal, even if it is more relaxed, so the tendency is to move so the the back teeth touch (the overbite position). However, this is a strained position so then you slide forward and get relief but there is no stability there so you then go back. It’s the same thing that happens with the wear and tear on the front teeth because of a bad, uncomfortable bite.