Treatment for Occlusal Disease

Occlusal Equilibration

Rolando Dentistry believes that every patient deserves a healthy stable mouth. This can only be achieved by a complete dental evaluation. This includes your teeth, gums, bones and muscles.

Occlusal equilibration is a term used in dentistry to discuss the balancing of the bite relationship. The lower jaw is a "U-shaped" bone, which has two joints at each end. When the jaw system is function properly, the lower jaw is able to freely hinge at the joints and close together with the lower teeth contacting the upper teeth very evenly all the way around the arch. This  creates a "solid bite".

When there is a discrepancy in the bite relationship to the fully seated joints, then the problems can develop. If any teeth interfere with a healthy jaw relationship during closure, the jaw will have to shift in order to fully close the teeth all the way together. This shifting of the jaw creates stress on the whole system.

We will see signs and symptoms of this shifting as muscle tenderness or tension, headaches, clenching and grinding of the teeth, joint discomfort, wearing of the teeth, tooth looseness, chipping and breaking of the teeth and crack lines in teeth. One some, or all of these are problems we see when there is a bite disharmony (Occlusal Disease).

If these signs of instability are found as we examine your mouth, we then consider occlusal equilibration as a possible remedy. We study the bite relationship by way of mounted-diagnostic study casts of your mouth. In this way we can determine if adjustment of the biting surfaces to balance your bite will correct the problem. Once studied, we can proceed with adjusting your bite relationship to re-establish harmony in the biting system.

We do this carefully by reshaping the biting surfaces of individual teeth, which may be interfering with the proper joint/bite relationship. By making these corrective changes, we are able to establish a harmonious and stable system, which eliminates the destructive forces previously present.

Establishing this stability in the system can prevent, or reduce, many problems that are serious in nature. These include:

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
Muscle tension headaches
Severe wear of  your natural teeth, as well as loose teeth
Chipping/breakage of teeth
Gum recession and other associated problems
Grooves forming on exposed root surfaces
We will discuss with you in detail our findings of your individual needs and why we are recommending occlusal equilibration.

Dr. Dale has extensively studied at the Dawson Academy. The Dawson Academy provides dental courses that for decades have proven to be the foundation for the successful practice of complete, predictable dentistry. The Academy teaches our students the essential principles and skills for complete care with primary concentrations in dental occlusion, the temporomandibular joints and comprehensive esthetic restorative dentistry. For more information click here.

If occlusal disease is diagnosed early, progression of the damage can be avoided and treatment can be much simpler. If treatment is delayed, damage becomes more severe and solutions more expensive. Treatment can include mild reshaping of the teeth to stabilize the bite, restorations of worn teeth, orthodontic treatment to better align the teeth or a combination of all three.

The key to preventing occlusal disease begins with a thorough examination and diagnosis. Unfortunately this examination is oftentimes not a part of a usual and customary dental exam. With early intervention more complicated problems can be avoided and when more severe damage has already occurred, predictable long-term treatment is dependent on creating a stable and comfortable bite where the teeth, muscle and jaws work in harmony with each other.

For more information on Occlusal Disease, please read a very interesting article by Jose-Luis Ruiz, D.D.S, F.A.G.D.
Check our Photo Gallery for visual signs of Occlusal Disease