Please keep in mind that the FreeBite has many more uses than pain relief:

  • Cause of Symptoms. Find out if your bite is involved in your symptoms.
  • Differential Diagnosis. Find out if your bite affects your head and body posture and symptoms elsewhere in your body.
  • Decompression of the TMJ’s.
  • Relaxation of Chewing Muscles.
  • Determination of the Orthopedic Bite.

The application of the FreeBite is quite different from that of the conventional water splint you may already be familiar with, because it is designed to stimulate change much more actively. Its shape has been carefully designed to support the widest range of dental arch forms possible. This is possible, because it is not fixed in one particular position, but can be playfully maneuvered between the cheeks and the tongue such as to provide for optimal contact symmetry even in different body positions. It is designed to act as a stimulant and initially there may be a reflex to clench on it which would be entirely undesired. Therefore, when wearing your FreeBite for the first time, it is of particular importance to not clench on it, but rather release it frequently from tooth contact. If you catch yourself clenching your teeth onto your FreeBite, it is time to take a short break and rather give yourself some time to get used to it by slowly increasing the duration of wearing it. You may have to start with as little as 5 minutes initially! If you seem to be totally unable to refrain from clenching onto your FreeBite, you may want to change to a lower version.

Please also note that the upper and lower surface of your FreeBite is not symmetrical. Try to turn it upside down to see how it will best conform to your dental arches!

Cause of Symptoms:

The TMJ-Syndrome includes a lot of symptoms which may stem from totally different causes and therefore require different kinds of treatment. There is quite a difference between having a neck ache from emotional stress and having one from a bite with inadequate support on the back teeth! You would expect a neck ache to respond favorably to the FreeBite in the second case where it may even deteriorate if caused by stress alone when you just cannot keep yourself from clenching. You probably will have to be able to wear your FreeBite for several hours in order for your symptoms to clearly respond.

Differential Diagnosis:

Some patients experience strange symptoms as a consequence of some change in their bite. Claiming that your bite is the reason for, say, your back ache, or your tinnitus might sound far-fetched and some would even insist that such connections are impossible. However, if reversibly changing the way your mandible braces when biting onto a FreeBite is clearly inducing a change elsewhere in your body, a connection between that symptom and your bite becomes quite likely. 

Your osteopath may be working on you because of a lateral scoliosis in your spine, a high/low shoulder, a pelvic rotation, leg length discrepancy, etc. If head or body posture is involved in the accommodation of your bite, such treatments will be unlikely to have stable results. You can study such possible connections by comparing markers in your head and body posture with and without the FreeBite between your teeth. When checking these markers in a mirror, it may help to have some horizontal reference behind you. In your head such markers could be your ears or your eyes. On your pelvis, the anterior superior iliac spines (SIAS) may serve. You may also want to compare mobility with and without the FreeBite. You may turn your head to each side as far as possible while biting on your back teeth compared to biting on your FreeBite.

Similarly, manual therapists may choose to use the FreeBite for kinesiologic testing.

Decompression of the TMJ’s:

Elevated muscle tension will produce joint compression. This rule actually applies anywhere in the body and it is easy to understand. Think of your muscles as rubber bands. If they want to move anything, they have to run across some joint. More muscle tension means a stronger rubber band which would result in movement, unless it is counterbalances by more tension in the antagonizing muscles. Two sets of strong rubber bands across a joint have to result in its compression!

In the Temporo-Mandibular Joints chronic compression may eventually squeeze out the articular disk, similarly as chronically tight muscles in your back may overload an intervertebral disk, eventually herniating it. Luckily, the TMJ’s are quite adaptable and capable of regeneration once they are unloaded. If your back teeth support your bite inadequately, the deep muscles in your jaw may compress your TMJ’s in order to bring those teeth closer together. After a while you may experience clicking in your TMJ on one or both sides, which occurs if the articular disk has been squeezed out during biting and pops back in during movement of your jaw. If you experienced clicking in your joints a while back, but not anymore, that can mean that now your articular disks are not even repositioning anymore during jaw movement. In this case you may now be experiencing a reduction in mouth opening.

Wearing the FreeBite may result in a return of the clicking and to full mouth opening in the latter case. Or it may result in the articular disk repositioning in the joint during moving and biting on your FreeBite. In this case the clicking would disappear. However, in this case you would expect to not find contact on your back teeth after removing the FreeBite from your mouth until one or both articular disks have dislocated again.

Relaxation of Chewing Muscles:

Chewing muscles rarely cause primary symptoms. You may experience a certain tiredness in them after chewing something tough, but you probably never have felt something like a muscle ache you are familiar with in your arms, legs or back in your chewing muscles. Chronically overloaded chewing muscles may, however, cause secondary symptoms. For one, they may develop Myofascial Trigger Points referring pain elsewhere in the head. For another, they may squeeze a nerve against bone and cause a burning tongue or shooting pain in your jaw.

Myofascial Trigger Points may also refer pain into teeth. Usually, the quality of this ”toothache“ differs a bit from a real toothache, it cannot be localized to one particular tooth and cannot be stimulated there. But when you are experiencing what feels like a toothache you look for fast relief. And a root canal may not be the right solution! If your pain responds to muscle relaxation, muscles in all likelihood are the source of it.


Determination of the Orthopedic Bite:

As muscles relax and TMJ’s decompress, your mandible will probably shift its three-dimensional position. This can be observed in two ways:  

  • You can observe markers, such as the upper and lower dental midlines or the overjet between your incisors when biting on your back teeth as compared to after wearing the FreeBite.
  • After wearing the FreeBite, you can sit or stand upright, remove it and loosely close your mandible to the first tooth contact. From the shift in that first contact before and after wearing the FreeBite you can deduce the mandibular shift that must have occurred.

See more Details under Monitoring Mandibular Position.

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