Occlusion is the medical term for a person’s bite: the way the upper and lower jaw fit together when the mouth is relaxed. Malocclusion is the term for an imperfect bite where the teeth do not align properly. When your mouth is closed, all top teeth should sit just slightly over the bottom teeth and meet with the same amount of pressure across all teeth. If not, your bite may need to be adjusted. Bite (occlusal) adjustments are performed to correct malocclusion and set the bite properly to prevent future dental problems. The top rated dentist in Wicker Park explains more below.
Malocclusion can simply be caused by the way the teeth grow in. If there was an underbite, overbite, or open bite that was never treated with braces or surgery, the problem will continue to cause bite issues.
Other causes can be improperly fitted crowns, bridges, or other restorations. The good news is that there are still treatment options if our dentist discovers that you have an imperfect bite.
Left untreated, malocclusion can damage your teeth and jaw. Pain, discomfort, and grinding of the teeth may occur. Other possible complications:
Depending on your case, an occlusal adjustment may be right for you. An occlusal adjustment is the reshaping of the surfaces of the teeth. The doctor uses a drill and file to adjust the uneven parts of your teeth and realign your bite.
Night guards may be recommended for those who grind and clench their teeth, or individuals with TMJ disorder.
Orthodontics can also be used if occlusal adjustments and mouthguards are not the correct method of treatment for your case. Our dentist can explain more in a consultation.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Dente Complete Dentistry, with a convenient dental office in Wicker Park by calling 773.295.0562 or by clicking here.