Dental Tips Blog

Jul
2

Occlusion Dentistry

Posted in TMJ Therpy

The alignment of your teeth and jaws can affect the wear patterns of your smile as well as lead to problems like TMJ, headaches, and muscle pain. Correcting bite problems can minimize discomfort as well as improve the health and appearance of your smile.

Occlusion dentistry focuses on the role of each tooth, as well as its location as it relates to other teeth in the mouth. Using different methods, your dentist will assess how the teeth bite against one another, as well as inspect the anatomical function of the jaws and facial muscles. By making minor to even more dramatic alterations to the way teeth bite together, the entire function of the jaw muscles and joints can be corrected.

Changing the occlusion of the teeth can be done through various techniques. Some are minimally invasive while others are more dramatic, such as the replacement of teeth or tooth realignment.

Your dentist may recommend:

  • Occlusal adjustment of specific teeth
  • Replacement of individual restorations
  • Tooth replacement options for missing teeth
  • Orthodontic therapy
  • Jaw treatments

Even very mild alterations to the chewing surfaces of the teeth can change the entire way your teeth bite together. One of the most common reasons dentists adjust the occlusion of teeth is when a new restoration such as a filling or crown is placed, until the bite is not too “high.” Your dentist will use occlusal paper to mark areas that bite more heavily than others. These areas are then adjusted slightly so that the pressure points are lessened.

Reducing the muscular strain and discomfort caused by an irregular bite can eliminate TMJ issues or chewing problems. If you find that you’re biting on one side of your mouth than the other, ask your dentist to check your occlusion pattern during your next appointment.

Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental

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