Dr. Reece conducts an occlusal analysis to ensure all the parts of a patient’s bite works together. Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way the teeth meet when the lower jaw (mandible) and upper jaw (maxilla) come together. An analysis is done to identify the corrective measures that are necessary to balance the functional dynamics of occlusion.
As part of the analysis, Dr. Reece will ask you to bite down on a piece of special paper called Articulating Paper and ask you to move your teeth. This paper will leave colored marks on your teeth where they come together. Dr. Reece will use this information to determine if treatment is needed. If your teeth do not align properly, then you have a malocclusion and Dr. Reece will recommend a bite adjustment (or occlusal adjustment).
Dr. Reece can perform a bite adjustment as an in-office procedure. A bite adjustment procedure is quick and painless. It is done to correct minor interferences that prevent your teeth from coming together properly.
Causes of a Misaligned Bite
There are several things that can cause a misaligned bite causing your teeth to lose their shape, to shift, or to wear down, including:
- Losing Enamel on Your Teeth
- Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
- Injuring a Tooth
- Failing to Take Proper Care of Your Oral Health
- Losing Teeth as a Result of Severe Periodontal Disease
- Eruption of Wisdom Teeth
Signs or Symptoms You May Need a Bite Adjustment
You may need a bite adjustment if you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Chronic Headaches
- Worn or Broken Teeth (not caused by trauma)
- Pain in Your Jaw Joints, Head, or Neck Muscles
- Popping of Your Jaw
- Sensitivity in Your Teeth
- Tenderness Around the Root of a Tooth
Treatment for a Misaligned Bite
A bite adjustment is done to correct minor interferences that prevent your teeth from coming together properly.
Occlusal Equilibration or occlusal adjustment is a dental procedure that involves selective adjusting of tooth surfaces to allow your lower teeth to contact your upper teeth evenly all the way around your mouth. This treatment is done to create a solid bite that prevents any further stress on individual teeth and reduces stress on the jaw muscles and jaw joints.
This a painless procedure and no shots are needed.
Occlusal Analysis and Bite Adjustment FAQs
Occlusal refers to the surface of the tooth that is used for chewing or grinding.
A healthy bite is important for proper eating, aesthetics, and disease prevention.
When your bite is off, a misaligned bite can exacerbate or lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, such as
- Pain and discomfort in the mouth and jaw.
- Stiffness, soreness, or clicking noises with your jaw.
- Persistent headaches.
You may be able to tell if your bite is off if
- One side of your tooth feels higher than the other.
- You touch down on one tooth before the others.
- You experience tenderness on that tooth/side of the mouth when you chew.
- You have an overall feeling that something feels different than it did before.
- You generally feel something is off when you are chewing or eating.