Dental Care Blog

Doug Klein DDS, Grandville MI

Occlusal Disease: What Is It?

If you’ve never heard of the term “occlusal disease,” you’re probably not alone. But a vast majority of people have this condition at least to some degree.

In fact, this disease process is the one of the most common dental disorders, while at the same time it’s one of the most undiagnosed dental disorders.

Occlusal Disease Diagnosis and Treatment - Klein Dentistry in Grandville MI 49418

Defining Occlusal Disease

It helps to know that there are three main diseases that negatively affect teeth: decay/cavities, periodontal disease, and occlusal disease. Most people are familiar with the first two, but occlusal disease – the pushing of teeth against each other – is one that people aren’t familiar with.

Occlusal Disease: The Pushing of Teeth Against Each Other

Occlusal disease is a destructive process evident in any part of the mouth, including the jaw joint, muscles, periodontium or teeth. It results from a bite in which the teeth are not properly aligned.

When the teeth are properly aligned, they work in harmony with the muscles, and jaw joint (TMJ) to withstand the force of your bite. But when there is an improperly aligned bite, this imbalance can cause problems with the teeth, muscles, jaw joint, or a combination of all three.

Signs And Symptoms Of Occlusal Trauma

Patients experiencing occlusal disease will notice a variety of different symptoms, which is why it’s often difficult to diagnose. First, there may be wear on the biting surface of teeth. Teeth can also become loose and move, can become sensitive to thermal changes such as hot and cold, and can become sore when biting.

You might also experience You might also experience shortening and chipping of the front teeth, cracked or broken back teeth, or dentistry that fails repeatedly or prematurely. The muscles that work the jaws can also become painful and sore, and may result in chronic headaches. Oftentimes a popping or clicking noise during eating or jaw movement is observed, as is pain in the jaw joint itself.

Occlusal Disease Treatment

If occlusal disease is not treated, the problems will slowly get worse over time and the teeth may ultimately wear out prematurely and may be lost. In addition, muscle and jaw problems will continue to cause discomfort, not to mention that the longer you put off treatment, the more costly treatment becomes.

How Occlusal Disease is Diagnosed and Treated

Diagnosing occlusal disease requires a comprehensive bite analysis to figure out the location and severity of the imbalance that’s leading to the disease. In some cases, a custom-made night guard worn over the teeth at night can slow down the damage of the disease.

When it comes to correcting your bite, Dr. Klein may reshape your teeth to make sure they fit together correctly and distribute the forces in your bite. This may be done through the use of orthodontics, such as braces, retainers, and other dental appliances. Correcting these issues will help preserve your natural teeth, promote healthy gums, and help to properly manage occlusal disease.

Personalized Occlusal Disease Solutions

To learn more about how Klein Dental can help you diagnose and treat occlusal disease, contact us anytime. We’d love to learn more about your unique situation and find a treatment plan that’s right for you.

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