Occlusal Dysfunction

Did you know that the amount of abnormal wear on teeth that we see in the US population is around 18-20%. 

Plus, research shows that the number of people who grind their teeth at night is 8-10%, which means that there are a substantial amount of people who experience additional wear on their teeth from problems that occur during the day.

One of these potential problems has been identified, and listed as occlusal dysfunction. This can manifest itself as abnormal wear on both front and back teeth. People can also feel that their bite is uneven, or they don’t know where their true bite is. People may experience tired jaws when chewing, and sometimes sore muscle in their jaw.

Occlusal Dysfunction can happen from:

  • poor dentistry over time, where the bite was allowed to be uneven
  • orthodontics that didn’t settle in, or
  • it’s genetic, and how your teeth may have grown naturally.

How Can I Treat This?
Treatment for this condition first involves analysis of the problem with a de-programming technique to separate those teeth and allow the jaw to settle into an orthopedic “happy place.”

After this, we analyze the bite to see what can be done to get simultaneous, equal contact of the teeth when closed. It’s important for this test to be done first because solutions can range from simple to complex.

There are times when an occlusal adjustment (selective adjustment and polishing of the teeth) will take care of the problem. There are other times when teeth need to be restored to a more anatomic contour, and others that will require the help of an orthodontic specialist to move teeth first.

Come Visit Us!
Overall, an analysis is required before we can tell patients what steps are necessary to fix it. Please take careful note however, that leaving this untreated can lead to more jaw problems to fix that may be more difficult to fix later on.

If you feel that you relate to any of the above, feel free to call us at 360-734-6620 as we are accepting new patients, and would be happy to schedule an appointment with you! Be sure to check out our other blogs on Bite Problems as well.