Occlusal disease, malocclusion, or bite disorder refers to an improper alignment or relationship between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed. It involves problems with how the teeth fit together and the forces applied during biting and chewing. Occlusal disease can lead to various oral health issues and may require treatment to restore proper dental function. For the best care possible, visit Valenta Dental.
The Symptoms of Occlusal Disease
Tooth Sensitivity or Pain
Improper tooth alignment can cause sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and pain during biting or chewing.
Jaw Pain or Headaches
Malocclusion can lead to muscle tension and strain, resulting in jaw pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, or chronic headaches.
The occlusal disease can contribute to TMJ disorders, characterized by jaw joint pain, clicking or popping sounds, and limited jaw movement.
Treatment of Occlusal Disease
Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, is often used to correct malocclusion and other bite-related issues. By gradually moving the teeth into proper alignment, orthodontic treatment can improve the bite, enhance dental function, and address aesthetic concerns.
Dental restorations, such as crowns, veneers, or dental bonding, may be used to restore teeth damaged by occlusal disease or improve the alignment of the bite. These restorations can help achieve proper tooth shape and alignment, improve chewing efficiency, and enhance the smile's overall appearance.
In some cases, tooth extraction may be necessary, especially if severely misaligned or overcrowded teeth cannot be corrected through other means. Tooth extraction may be followed by orthodontic treatment or replacement of the extracted tooth with a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Therapy
If the occlusal disease is causing TMJ disorders, specific therapies may be recommended to alleviate TMD-related symptoms. These therapies can include oral appliances, physical therapy exercises, pain management techniques, and, in severe cases, surgery.
Oral Habits and Lifestyle Changes
Addressing harmful oral habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting is essential in treating occlusal disease. Our dentist may provide guidance and recommendations to help patients break these habits and adopt healthier oral practices. Additionally, lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and avoiding habits like teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), can also be beneficial in managing occlusal disease.
It's important to note that the treatment for occlusal disease depends on the specific underlying causes and the severity of the condition. A comprehensive evaluation by our skilled dentist is necessary to determine a patient’s most suitable treatment approach. For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Valenta Dental at 1838 Dunlap Ave, Marinette, WI 54143, or call (715) 735-5626.