An occlusal analysis is performed to ensure that all the parts of a patient’s bite work together. The way your teeth align when the lower jaw (mandible) and upper jaw (maxilla) meet (in a bite) is called occlusion. It defines the way your teeth move against each other.
Occlusion lies at the very foundation of everything a dentist does with teeth. Understanding occlusion is the basis for knowing why teeth get loose, why they wear excessively, or why they shift position. When there is damage to the biting surfaces of your teeth, it is called "occlusal disease" and is the most common cause of discomfort. Early diagnosis and treatment of very recognizable signs of occlusal disease can prevent the progression of damage to your teeth.
What to Expect During Occlusal Analysis
Crooked teeth do not necessarily mean that you have a bad bite. As long as your teeth function with the anatomy of the jaw joint and muscles, the teeth can remain healthy. At Mt. Angel Dental, we recommend that our patients have a comprehensive exam before making any permanent changes to their teeth. An occlusal analysis helps identify if there is a need to correct the bite before treatment.
As part of the analysis, Dr. Weishoff will ask you to bite down on a piece of special paper called Articulating Paper and ask you to move your teeth from side to side. This paper will leave colored marks on your teeth where they come together. This information is used to determine if your teeth align properly. If not, then you have malocclusion and Dr. Weishoff will recommend a bite adjustment or occlusal adjustment. This procedure is usually performed as an in-office procedure and is quick and painless. It is done to correct minor interferences that prevent your teeth from coming together properly.
Causes and Symptoms of a Misaligned Bite
A misaligned bite can result in your teeth losing their shape, shifting, or wearing down. Causes for this include:
- Loss of teeth enamel
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Injuring a tooth
- Irregular and improper care of your teeth
- Loss of teeth due to severe periodontal disease
- Eruption of wisdom teeth
If you have malocclusion, you may need your bite adjusted. Some symptoms of malocclusion include:
- Chronic headaches
- Worn or broken teeth (not caused by trauma)
- Pain in your jaw joints, head, or neck muscles
- Popping of your jaw
- Teeth sensitivity
- Tenderness around the root of a tooth
Treatment for a Misaligned Bite
Bite adjustment is done to correct a minor interference that prevents your teeth from coming together properly. Occlusal Equilibration or Occlusal Adjustment is a dental procedure that is painless and does not require any shots prior to or during the procedure.
When your bite is adjusted, Dr. Weishoff will selectively adjust tooth surfaces to allow your lower teeth to contact your upper teeth evenly all the way around your mouth. This treatment is done to create a solid bite that prevents any further stress on individual teeth and reduces stress on the jaw muscles and joints.
Occlusal Analysis and Bite Adjustment in Mt. Angel, Oregon
If you experiencing any symptoms of a malocclusion, please contact us to set up occlusal analysis and bite adjustment with Dr. Weishoff. You can reach Mt. Angel Dental at (503) 845-2273 to schedule an appointment or you may request an appointment online.