What Is an Occlusal Adjustment?

When you close your mouth, your bottom teeth should evenly touch your top teeth. All the top teeth should touch the bottom teeth at the same time with equal pressure. Your top teeth should fit lightly over your bottom teeth. If some teeth touch harder than others, or are not properly aligned, your “bite” may be imperfect.

The dental term for an imperfect bite is malocclusion. A malocclusion may cause serious and life-long problems if left uncorrected. An occlusal adjustment corrects the malocclusion, repairs the bite for normal chewing and prevents a multitude of dental disorders.

Problems resulting from or causing a malocclusion:

  • Chipping and fracturing of teeth
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Mild tooth pain progressing to severe pain and need for a root canal
  • Teeth sensitive to heat and cold
  • Teeth becoming crowded and cracked
  • Worsening periodontal (gum) disease
  • Bone recession
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems
  • Habitual teeth grinding or clenching, often at night while sleeping, which puts pressure on teeth, damaging them and causing excessive wear
  • Clicking noise when opening and closing your jaw
  • Nerve or muscle disorders or damage
  • Damage to dental implants or dentures

In addition to symptoms and causes that you may directly relate to your mouth, gums or teeth, you may also suffer:

  • Headaches, which may not seem serious unless they are migraines, which can easily become debilitating. You may not associate headaches with your bite problem.
  • You may constantly feel like your jaws are tired.
  • You may have muscle spasms in your neck or face.
  • You may have an earache.
  • Your face may be sensitive to touch and/or have a temperature.
  • The condition and appearance of your teeth may keep you from smiling.

To learn more about malocclussion in Virginia Beach, Virginia, feel free to reach out to our Shore Drive Dental office at 757-460-1939 to talk with one of our team members and schedule a visit with our dentist, Dr. Leslie Richmond.

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