Occlusal Adjustment

Teeth that are properly aligned are designed to fit together in an anatomically correct position. However, most people have tiny interferences in their teeth that prevent the bite from fitting together properly. These interferences can occur as a result of accidents or normal wear over time. Dental work, such as fillings or crowns, can also cause bit issues. Occlusal adjustment is a procedure performed to remove the tiny imperfections so that the jaw can close properly. 

Occlusal adjustment may be necessary because if the jaw is unable to slide fully into its anatomically correct position, issues with the muscles in the jaw and neck can develop. If the jaw is unable to close correctly, the muscles of the jaw and neck are never able to fully relax. As a result, you may experience issues with headaches and neck aches. You may develop bruxism, or teeth grinding, as the teeth seek alignment. Bruxism can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, and receding gums as well as issues with TMJ.

Symptoms that your bite may be off include a clicking noise when the mouth is opened, if the jaw can not open evenly on both sides, ground away enamel on the teeth, or fractured teeth. Chronic symptoms of bruxism, headaches, and neck aches may also be a clue that the bite is off. 

How is my bite fixed?

Mylar paper is used to detect the imperfections in your bite. You will be asked to bite down on a piece of mylar paper. Mylar paper transfers color to the areas where contact occurs. The dentist will then smooth the area where the marks have been left, removing just enough of the enamel to remove the interference. 

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