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Occlusal Adjustment (Bite Adjustment)

Man has jaw pain caused by malocclusion and is holding his cheek.
Malocclusion if untreated can cause many long-term problems including jaw pain, clicking and popping in the jaw, worn and damaged teeth, and more.

At Arizona Periodontal Group, we offer a wide range of dental treatments, helping all of our clients achieve the perfect smile. One treatment that you may not know about is bite adjustment, which is also known as occlusal adjustment. So what is it?

What is an Occlusal Adjustment?

When you bite down, your top teeth should touch your bottom teeth in an even manner. All of your top teeth should touch your bottom teeth with equal pressure and at the same time. Try it now. What happened? Did your top teeth fit over your bottom teeth? 

If you find that some of your teeth touch your bottom teeth a lot harder than others, your bite may need an occlusal adjustment. You may need an adjustment also if you find that your teeth are misaligned.

Malocclusion is the dental term when someone has an imperfect bite. If not corrected, the result is life-long issues and serious problems.

Causes of Malocclusion

There are a number of different causes of malocclusion, including:

  • Childhood habits, such as extended pacifier use and thumb sucking
  • Misalignment of jaw repair after an injury
  • Cleft palates and other birth defects
  • Impacted teeth, extra teeth, and loose teeth
  • The difference in the size of your teeth
  • The difference in the size of your lower jaw and upper jaw
  • Heredity 

Types of Malocclusion

There are also different types of malocclusion. The first type.

Class 1: When your upper teeth overlap your lower teeth slightly.

Class 2: This is when your upper teeth and upper jaw overlap your lower teeth and lower jaw severely. This is known as having an overbite.

Class 3: Your lower teeth and your lower jaw overlap your upper teeth and upper jaw severely. This is known as an underbite.

An occlusal adjustment is a dental procedure to correct the malocclusion. This will repair the bite, ensuring normal chewing and preventing a number of different dental disorders from occurring. 

Dr. Trujillo, at Arizona Periodontal Group, has experience with occlusion adjustments and will make sure that you get effective treatment. He will start with a consultation to make sure the treatment is right and answer any of your questions. 

Indications That You Might Need an Occlusal Adjustment

There are a number of different signs and indications that bite adjustment is the right treatment for you. This includes the following:

  • You wake up with jaw pain.
  • Popping as you open and close your jaw.
  • A feeling of an uneven bite.
  • Worn or damaged teeth without trauma.

You may think that it does not really matter if your bite is misaligned, but it can make a big difference, and there are a lot of serious side effects that can happen if this is left untreated. 

Long-Term Effects of Untreated Malocclusion

Some of the serious problems that may develop with untreated malocclusion include the following:

  • Damage to dentures or dental implants
  • Muscle disorders or nerve damage
  • Trauma
  • Clicking noise when closing and opening your jaw
  • Teeth clenching or grinding, often when you are asleep at night
  • TMJ issues
  • Bone recession
  • Worsening of periodontal disease
  • Teeth becoming cracked and crowded
  • Teeth sensitive to cold and heat
  • Mild tooth pain that gets worse and worse
  • Missing or loose teeth
  • Fracturing and chipping of teeth

When you take all of the possible consequences that have been mentioned into account, it is not hard to see why bite alignment comes highly recommended for one who is experiencing malocclusion. 

Occlusal Adjustment Procedure and How Long It Takes

Now that you have a good understanding of why bite alignment is an important procedure, you will probably want to learn a bit more about what to expect when having this treatment. 

The occlusal adjustment procedure will always start with a consultation, which will enable us to examine your bite to make sure that this is the right treatment for you. This also gives you the chance to ask any questions.

Before the procedure, the doctor will have you bite down on a thin colored piece of paper. This paper will transfer the color to the area where there is contact. Your doctor will then smooth the areas of teeth that have color marks. The doctor will take smooth away just enough teeth to even out your bite. 

This process continues until all of the teeth meet together in the correct position. 

After Treatment Care

Your doctor will provide you with aftercare guidance following treatment. Home care is important when you have had this type of dental treatment. The extent of the occlusal adjustment will largely dictate the treatment plan that you need to follow at home. 

Contact Us Today for More Information 

Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of bite adjustment. If you would like to learn more about this treatment and whether or not it is right for you, give us a call to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Trujillo is an experienced periodontist at Arizona Periodontal Group and would be happy to discuss treatment with you and answer any questions.

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When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.