Occlusion is the way your teeth are aligned and how they fit together. If specific teeth are out of alignment or are throwing off the way your jaw closes, you may need an occlusal adjustment. The adjustment (smoothing and contouring) will be made to specific teeth so as not to impede the contact between the upper and lower jaws. This helps eliminate pressure caused by excessive contact by the protruding teeth.

With an occlusal analysis, Dr. Toms checks a patient’s bite to identify problem areas. He will look for areas in which teeth are experiencing too much pressure from contact with each other, or areas in which lack of contact is allowing opposing teeth to shift or misalign. If he finds problem areas, he may recommend that you have an occlusal adjustment.

During the adjustment procedure, Dr. Toms asks his patient to bite down on a piece of mylar paper. This leaves traces of color in areas where there is excessive contact or pressure. Targeting those specific areas, he then removes microscopic layers of your teeth to ensure proper bite and alignment. In some cases, Dr. Toms may recommend such fixes as crowns or filling replacements to ensure optimal contact. Teeth that sit too far below the tooth line may benefit from a crown to improve the height.

Malocclusion, or misaligned bites caused by protruding teeth, can cause additional problems beyond uncomfortable chewing. Excess contact can quickly lead to chipped or broken teeth, or worse. It has the potential to cause bruxism, which is the grinding of teeth, as well as receding gums, bone loss, soreness in the jaw or teeth, headaches, neck aches, as well as damage to existing dental work. It may seem like an unimportant detail if one or two teeth are a little higher or lower than other teeth, but it can cause problems if left untreated.

If you are currently experiencing pain or discomfort in your teeth, gums, jaw, or think you may have other symptoms of malocclusion, call Dr. Toms’ office located in Cincinnati today at (513) 922-7300. We can help you schedule an appointment and find the right periodontal treatment for you.