Bite Adjustment (Occlusal Adjustment)

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A bite is considered to be healthy when all or most of the teeth are present and not destroyed by normal daily usage. Bite adjustment (Malocclusion) is the solution to painful and problematic side effects of a misaligned bite. Malocclusion is most often referred to as an overbite or underbite. Occlusion or “perfect bite” is what we strive to achieve when treating malocclusion, but rarely happens naturally.

Side Effects of a Malocclusion

Interferences from a malocclusion can prevent the jaw from fully sliding into its anatomically correct position. This means that the muscles of the jaw and neck are never able to fully relax. Some side effects that can occur includes:

  • Severe headaches, neck aches and tooth pain
  • Patients may develop bruxism (leading to loss of tooth structure and receding gums).
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues if interference goes untreated

Treating Malocclusions

Your dentist will examine your jaw closely and evaluate for signs that your bite may be off. Some signs include:

  • Popping/clicking noises upon opening/closing
  • Wear facts in areas where enamel has been ground away
  • Fractured teeth
  • Chronic symptoms of bruxism (headaches, neck aches, jaw pain)

Your dentist will then have you bite on a thin piece of colored paper. The paper transfers color to the areas where contact occurs. The doctor will then smooth the area where the marks have been left by removing just enough of the tooth or restoration to eliminate the interference.

To determine whether you need a bite adjustment, contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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