Do Your Top and Bottom Teeth Meet Correctly?
If you’re worried about an overbite, underbite or crooked teeth, then dental occlusion could be to blame.
Do you suffer from pain in your face or jaw? You might have a dental occlusal problem. If you haven’t visited a dentist in a while, then it could be worth a check-up so that they can assess your oral health and identify if any occlusal issues exist. Dental occlusion refers to how your teeth meet when you bite your top and bottom sets together. If they don’t meet perfectly then this can cause conditions such as an overbite, where the front teeth overlap too much with the lower teeth. Whilst a 5-25% overbite would be typical and acceptable in most people, anything more than this is an occlusal problem that needs to be corrected.
How To Detect Occlusal Problems
Although you should visit a professional dentist for an accurate diagnosis of occlusal problems, there are some tell-tale signs that may give you the push to book a check-up. If you pay attention to how your teeth meet when you bite down, then you may notice that you either have an overbite, underbite or crooked teeth. When your teeth are misaligned, and you are even missing some teeth, then this can cause your bite to become imbalanced. Unfortunately, this will have a knock-on effect regarding the stability of the rest of your teeth. When your bite is unbalanced, this may result in other teeth loosening.
If you experience pain in your jaw when you bite, or a clicking sound as you move or relax your jaw, then this could be another indicator of occlusal problems. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, can be linked to jaw disorders which cause face, neck or shoulder pain as well as headaches.
Correcting Occlusal Problems
If it’s determined that you’re experiencing dental occlusion issues, then don’t despair as there are plenty of treatment options available to you. Your first step will be to book in with a reputable dentist with experience in advanced dentistry. They will thoroughly assess the existing condition of your teeth and alignment to identify the root cause and determine a treatment plan to fix your issues. The goal will be to improve your physical symptoms as well as the aesthetic appeal of your smile.
Possible Treatment Options
Each individual dental case will be entirely unique, but usually you could expect that people with occlusal problems would benefit from using a combination of orthodontic teeth straightening, adjustment or replacement treatments to create perfect harmony for the muscles and joints of the jaw. Others may benefit from wearing a protective bite guard to bed, to prevent grinding as they sleep. For those in considerable pain, some medication may offer short-term relief as these treatments take a while to improve the alignment of the jaw. Alongside a proactive treatment plan, patients should also commit to a healthy diet of soft foods to put the jaw under as little stress as possible.
If you’re experiencing jaw or facial pain, or perhaps just feel self-conscious about having an overbite or underbite, then now is the time to take action. Book in for a check-up with a regular dentist to discuss your customised treatment options!