Occlusal Therapy (bite adjustment) is a painless procedure that helps eliminate and prevent long term wear and tear to teeth and the jaw bone. Occlusion is how your teeth come together. More technically, it is the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth when they approach each other, as occurs when chewing or, bruxing (night time grinding).
A malocclusion, is the misalignment of teeth and/or Maxilla and Mandible. When this occurs, it can lead to a number of health and dental problems not just with teeth but, with gums, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and muscles. Patients with a malocclusion often have teeth that break or become loose.
To determine whether your condition includes a malocclusion, you will be given a comprehensive exam, including x-rays. Sometimes models are made of your teeth and placed on an instrument called an articulator. This is done to help us simulate jaw and tooth movement to better diagnose your bite. Next, teeth are marked with tape while teeth are closed and made to move in different directions, simulating jaw movement. Lastly, a dental drill is used to reshape the teeth. Balancing and evenly distributing the biting and chewing forces on your teeth reduces looseness and relieves excessive pressure on the supporting gum and bone structure.
Signs that you may need Occlusal Therapy:
- teeth chip or, become loose
- teeth become sensitive
- teeth move out of position
- gums and bone recede
- jaw makes a “clicking noise
- jaw muscles become tendor
- neck pain, headaches or, migraines