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Old 09-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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What is the average width of a bite?

When I see my TMJ specialist, they always measure the width of my bite with my mouth open as wide as I can get it.

I'm curious though, does anyone know what a good average range is for the measurements for an adult?

My problem is opposite of most in that my joints are hypermobile and that is part of my cause of developing TMJ (along with other joint problems). I wonder if my measurements are within normal range or not. Even with my slipped disks, I'm averaging about 55 mm's.

I know my PT for my shoulder made a point of not having me move my shoulder to the range possible, but rather to a 'normal' range, because that will actually aggrevate my problem. Does the jaw work the same?

 
Old 09-27-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

Hi Mountainreader,
My TMJ dentist has measured my current jaw opening as 51mm which he says is within the normal opening range. Before I started my TMJ treatment with a 24/7 splint my opening measurement was about 40mm. The best person to ask what is considered to be within the normal range is your TMJ dentist, as they must have measured loads of peoples mouth opening, and must have a good idea of what the norm is.
Was your jaw opening to 55mm before you started splint treatment?

 
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

Hello Fellow TMJers,
I'm impressed that you folks can open so wide. I'm just one year post op from having my TMJ joints replaced. I open at 30mm. My surgeon has told me that the replacement joints are made to have an opening of 32mm maximum.
I do daily stretching exercises to keep my opening between 30 and 32mm.
Last year when I had real issues with my jaw I was opening between 17 and 24mm.
I hope this helps.
Peggy

 
Old 09-27-2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

I am amazed at this myself. I can only speak from my own condition, but at my worst I was at 7mm. Then at 12mm on last visit I believe, in the A.M its probably like 4mm, if I go by what its like at 7mm.

My next appt was scheduled for 3 months after last, which I feel is such a long time, but think the Doctor is just aggravated with me that I am not improving much and somehow its my fault? Or is it normal to wait 3 months in between appts? I just feel like he is aggravated that I have this problem in itself like I am a big bother!

Has anyone felt like that when they went for check ups and such, like when you try to tell them all going on with your problem, its a bother, seriously, makes me not even want to go back, but have no other alternative!

 
Old 09-27-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

I started treatment last June at a 51... I think. As I said, my problem is opposite of most in that I have joint hyperflexibility. That is why I am curious about what a "normal" range may be. My TMJ dentist hasn't been concerned about my opening. His assistants always do the measurements and I forget to ask when he comes in. We spend more time discussing my muscles and bite. I really really need my jaw to come forward away from my ear a bit.

It really is odd that we can all have slipped disks with differing symptoms. In my case, it hasn't affected my opening, but has affected my ear and the muscles in my face, neck, shoulder and back. While I have had pain involved, I am thankful that I haven't had any difficulty with my bite width. I don't know how all of you do it. I know when I couldn't move my arm due to shoulder problems (caused by the hyperflexibility) that it really really made me me appreciative of "normal".

BTW, I wear a lower repositioning splint during the day and a different upper splint at night. The upper splint is set at the same bite height as the daytime one, but has a post in the front that comes in behind my lower teeth and keeps my lower jaw from falling back when I lay down. It basically holds my jaw in the forward position we are working for.

Here4U2, You should never have a doctor that is aggrevated with you. You are paying for their services. If they can't help, they need to let you know. I know how you feel though. I've been bouncing between 5 docs trying to resolve some other issues I have. In the last month 2 of them have told me they can't help. One even told me I just have to live with things the way they are. I'm not giving up hope in finding a solution. It doesn't lessen the frustration though.

 
Old 09-28-2010, 02:17 AM   #6
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

mountainreader, your splints sound very similiar to mine. My night one is like yours except the post in mine has a little hole in it that my tongue can go, the post holds my tongue behind my top teeth.

I dunno what my measurement was when I started treatment, I think about 30mm. am now at 40mm.

 
Old 09-28-2010, 04:58 AM   #7
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
It really is odd that we can all have slipped disks with differing symptoms. In my case, it hasn't affected my opening, but has affected my ear and the muscles in my face, neck, shoulder and back. While I have had pain involved, I am thankful that I haven't had any difficulty with my bite width. I don't know how all of you do it. I know when I couldn't move my arm due to shoulder problems (caused by the hyperflexibility) that it really really made me me appreciative of "normal".
Hi Mountainreader,
We can all have slipped discs, but there are different stages of slipped discs, and disc and joint damage, which is why there are also variations in the way the jaw functions and the range of opening.
My discs are displaced on both sides, they are anteriorly displaced with reduction. So when my mouth is closed my discs are in front of where they should be (anteriorly displaced). By the time my mouth is fully open my discs are in the correct position as in the process of opening my mouth the condyles click onto the discs (this is what the ‘with reduction’ means). The condyles clicking onto the disc causes a joint clicking noise as I open my mouth. If the discs are anteriorly displaced without reduction, meaning they are in front of where they should be when the mouth is closed and open, I believe that is what would restrict mouth opening range. The only way to be really sure where your discs are positioned and the condition of the discs is to have an MRI scan. Have you had one of these? Do you know how displaced your discs are?

 
Old 09-28-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

Hello TMJ Friends,
My TMJ Specialist has told me that 30-35mm is functional. He said that that's why they make the replacement joints to open to 30mm. People can function as far as eating and talking at 30mm.
As far as what ideal is I don't know, but I do know that in the opion of Dr. Warburton 30mm is functional. That's one man's opinion, but he's one of the best in the country.
I hope this helps.
Peggy

 
Old 09-28-2010, 08:54 PM   #9
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

Thanks for your responses. I find this discussion interesting.

I did have an MRI last spring along with the CT scans, etc... The MRI showed that my condyles were slipping off the backside of the disks. It was enough to confirm my TMJ diagnosis. I also have coronoid process hyperplasia, cranial distortion and improper lower jaw positioning.

I guess I'm really wondering about the impact of my joint hypermobility on my tmj treatment. Many of my worst TMJ symptoms are muscular in nature and the chronic hypermobility can't be good for it. That said, I'm working with therapists to relax some of the muscles so my jaw can go back into its correct position.

 
Old 10-25-2010, 09:21 PM   #10
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

Hi, My mouth has very limited opening for nearly 2 years now- ranges at best at about 26mm. I can still talk normally and I can still eat- but only softer foods like lasagne, raviolli, mash potato, stewed meats/vegies. haven't touched a steak or biscuits since....

 
Old 10-26-2010, 04:54 PM   #11
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Re: What is the average width of a bite?

"Normal" jaw opening is between 45mm and 55 mm. This being said, I don't think many of us are normal. If I could open at 30 without pain for the rest of my life, I would be fine with that.

 
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