Here is An excerpt from Burt Reynolds Obituary which was published recently:-
Reynolds found his run of success ending abruptly during the filming of a fight scene in 1984 when he was accidentally struck on the jaw with an iron chair. Reynolds developed temporomandibular joint disease, but the condition remained undiagnosed for almost a year.
His hearing, balance and speech were all affected, he suffered from migraine and sensitivity to light, and because he could not eat properly lost several stone. His weight loss, haggard appearance and slurred speech led to a flurry of rumours that he was suffering from cancer or Aids.
After consulting 13 dentists Reynolds’s disease was diagnosed and he spent the next three months having each of his teeth realigned.
Trauma can certainly be a cause of TMJ disease( we now call it TMD) and sadly many dentists find it difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. It is associated with chronic pain and is debilitating. More commonly it develops without an obvious cause but there is a strong relationship with stress. Typically it will affect females in their twenties, thirties and forties. What probably happened was that Burt’s jaw joints were damaged by the blow to his jaw. This causes swelling, damage to some of the delicate parts of the joint and all this affects how the teeth fit together (which dentist call ‘The Occlusion’) Sometimes after an event like this the joints and teeth will settle back down again but in this case the joints continued to be a problem. It’s likely the treatment Burt had is a procedure called Equilibration which involves incredibly precise, delicate reshaping of the teeth where they touch each other. We do sometimes carry out this procedure (BSOS dentists are trained to do this) but more commonly we use bite appliances to allow the jaw to settle and heal first. Only then will we consider whether Equilibration is appropriate. For more information and to find a dentist local to you who can help, please contact us through the website.