The Management of Dysfunction

The presence of deformations in the oral environment should stimulate a dialogue between the dentist and patient to determine if the patient is currently grinding and/or clenching his or her teeth, or whether this damage occurred during a prior stressful period. 

Often a patient will deny any awareness of DCS (dental compression syndrome), but upon returning will say something like, “You know, since you brought it to my attention, I catch myself clenching all the time.” 
Management of DCS (dental compression syndrome) begins with awareness and proceeds with a three-step treatment plan, which consists of education, equilibration, and guard therapy. 
  • Step 1: Education. Dental healthcare providers must teach their patients  everything they know about DCS (dental compression syndrome) in the simplest terms. Patients need to understand that teeth should only touch upon swallowing, and they should also know the resting position of the mandible (lips together, teeth apart). The list of etiological agents should be reviewed. Patients should be asked to monitor their jaw position during waking hours and be sensitive to headaches and tension in muscles of mastication upon waking. If it is obvious that patients are affected by DCS but are indifferent to the problem, their dental records should indicate that, and no further treatment should be initiated. However, if patients are aware of the problem and want to eliminate or reduce it, the next step is to analyze the occlusion in order to determine if the morphology of certain teeth needs to be modified. 

from The Truth About Occlusion 
Gene D. McCoy, D.D.S.   Download 528Kb


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