One of the issues we see in our practice is abnormally worn teeth. Sometimes patients are aware of this problem, and sometimes the change has taken place over such a long period of time that they aren’t aware of the issue until it’s brought to their attention. The normal amount of wear on teeth (according to occlusion experts/bite related experts) is 1mm over the course of 100 years. When you’re losing tooth structure faster than that, that’s pathologic (meaning that you have a high potential of having occlusal disease). Also, there shouldn’t be chronic pain in the muscles around the jaw.
Bite-related issues can be one of the most challenging things we deal with in our practice. We sometimes see patients who come in where they have worn their teeth down to half, or come in with teeth where the tongue-side are hollowed out and the teeth are now extremely thin. When patients wait several years to be seen, this allows several years worth of damage to have the time to add up. This can lead to a need for fairly extensive reconstructive dentistry. These are some of the more complicated items that our practice helps patients with.
SCREENING INDICATIONS THAT YOU HAVE A BITE PROBLEM:
● Do your jaw muscles get sore or tired from chewing hard (protein bars) or chewy (gum) foods?
● Are your teeth wearing down or are your front teeth getting shorter/thinner?
● Are the front teeth feeling like they hit more prominently when you bite?
● Do you feel like you have to squeeze to get your back teeth to touch?
● Do you have to search for your bite
○ When you close your lower jaw to your upper teeth, do you know where they will meet? – Is it different each time?
○ Is it even on both sides
○ Do you have to search for your bite?
○ Do you have more than one bite?
● Are your teeth loose or wiggly?
● Do you have a nervous habit of biting items that shouldn’t be bitten? your nails? Pens or pencils? Ice?
● Do you grind your teeth at night?
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.