When you close your mouth your teeth are supposed to come together evenly at the same time, without any teeth touching before another. When your teeth don’t come together evenly, it causes excess stress on your teeth, jawbone, jaw joints and muscles. Bruxism, which involves you clenching grinding your teeth, can magnify the problem.
Fortunately, an occlusal adjustment can help correct this problem. An occlusal adjustment is done to help correct the alignment of your bite. The procedure involves reshaping your teeth with a dental drill, which removes interferences. These interferences can keep your teeth from coming together, and can also prevent your jaw from automatically closing into the correct position.
When your jaw isn’t able to close into its anatomical position, the muscles in your jaw and neck are never able to fully relax. This can result in headaches, neck aches and toothaches. Many patients also develop bruxism because their jaw is seeking the correct bite alignment. Bite guards can help patients with bruxism by protecting their teeth and TMJ (jaw joint).
Bite guards, also called occlusal guards, are important for people that grind their teeth at night. Patients that grind and clench their teeth may cause:
- Wear, fractures or chipping of teeth
- Bone and gum recession
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Damage to dental bridges or dental implants
- Sensitive areas on teeth or gums
- Worsening of gum disease
- Sore muscles, headaches and noises when opening or closing your mouth
Bite guards can also be useful to protect dental work, decrease symptoms, allow jaw alignment and act as a guide for occlusal adjustments. In severe case where symptoms of bruxism continue, bite guards are worn even after teeth have been properly reshaped.
If you have any questions or concerns about occlusal adjustments or bite guards, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel in Camp Hill, PA at 717-761-8611 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit wetzelperio.com for additional information regarding occlusal adjustments and bite guards.
Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from New Cumberland, Harrisburg, York, Carlisle and all surrounding areas.