Occlusal, or bite, adjustment is a procedure performed to remove tiny interferences that keep teeth from coming together properly. These interferences can prevent the jaw from closing in its anatomically correct position. Interferences can develop as teeth develop, can occur following an accident, or they can accumulate over time with wear. Dental work such as fillings, crowns, bridges, and extractions can also cause interferences.
Interferences can prevent the jaw from fully sliding into its anatomically correct position. This means that the muscles of the jaw and neck are never able to fully relax. This may result in severe headaches and neck aches. Many develop bruxism, or teeth grinding, as their jaw seeks its natural position. Bruxism can cause bone loss, tooth loss, and receding gums. Overtime, patients may develop tempromandibular joint issues, or TMJ, if they go untreated.
During your examination, your doctor will examine your jaw closely and may notice symptoms that your bite may be off. Some symptoms include if the jaw does not open evenly on both sides, if the jaw makes a clicking noise as it opens, if the enamel has been ground away in certain areas, or if there are fractured teeth. Chronic symptoms of bruxism, headaches or neck aches, are also clues that the bite may be off.
Tekscan, or T-Scan, is a valuable tool that aids in diagnosing problems with a person’s bite. The T-Scan system can show what is and what is not functioning properly when a person bites down. When a bite is unstable, it can cause pain, broken restorations, gum disease, tooth loss, headaches and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. The T-Scan device includes an ultra-thin sensor that a patient bites down on. The computer then analyzes and displays the data. Because the sensor technology is so advanced, the T-Scan can detect both biting time and force. This allows our dentist to correct any bite issues without the guesswork previously needed, and to reduce the number of office visits you will need to have your bite (also known as your occlusion) corrected.