Function Equilibration: Having a harmonious bite surface is extremely important in preventing chronic damage to the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This joint is the pivoting point of the lower jaw at the base of the skull. There are two joints that need to function simultaneously. Much like a rocking chair functions on a flat surface, if a rock is introduced under one of the rockers of the chair the entire chair is deflected to one side of the other. The discrepancies in the bite plane tend to do the same to the TMJ. These discrepancies must be recognized and removed in order to prevent chronic pain.
The stresses of daily life can also take a toll on our dentition. In general, people tend to clench their jaws or grind their teeth in stressful situations. If this grinding becomes uncontrollable, one needs to have an occlusal guard or splint. The splint is insurance in that the material of the splint is damaged and ground away and not the tooth structure.