There are a lot of dental issues that are obvious to patients who are also aware of the types of treatments which can help them such as discoloured teeth and whitening or missing teeth and dental implants. However, occlusion issues are not always easily recognised and without visiting the dentist most people will continue to suffer with side effects until they decide to seek help.
At Sharrow Dental our dedicated team of experts are on hand to provide patients suffering from occlusion problems with innovative, long term solutions that will help to get them smiling and their teeth functioning better than ever.
What Is Dental Occlusion?
Dental occlusion is the term used to describe how the teeth and dental arches make contact with each other when a patient closes together or bites down.
In a good bite – the top teeth (maxillary) will sit a little over the bottom teeth (mandibular) and the back molars, like a jigsaw puzzle should fit together providing comfortable chewing and biting. When the bite is not aligned properly known as a misaligned bite or ‘malocclusion’, patients can suffer from a number of issues that can lead to long term problems if not properly treated and resolved.
Do I Have an Occlusion Problem?
It is very common for those with occlusion issues to be suffering with related pain in their mouths, teeth and gums but to be unaware that these issues are related to their misalignment. This can lead to a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort which can be fixed using one of several treatment methods depending on their teeth.
Indicators of a misaligned bite can include;
- Overcrowded teeth
- Under bite
- When biting down the edges of the front teeth are touching
Symptoms of Occlusal Issues
Having a misaligned bite can often cause a number of problems for patients including things such as jaw pain, teeth grinding, pain and tenderness, worn down teeth, gum disease and even tooth loss.
Some symptoms of malocclusion can include;
Crooked teeth – If a patient has teeth that are uneven or crooked or maybe have problems with crowns and fillings constantly breaking or coming loose then a misaligned bite may be the issue. It can also cause tenderness in the teeth and gums when eating or biting down or a constant aching feeling.
Jaw Problems – Crunching, clicking or grinding of the jaw as well as uncomfortable jaw pain and difficulty opening the mouth could be an indicator that there are issues with the teeth’s alignment.
Grinding – This frequently goes unnoticed with most patients who are unaware they grind their teeth at all due it to most commonly happening whilst they sleep. If a patient wakes up often with a stiff jaw, tenderness of the teeth and gums or pain when biting then these could be a tell-tale sign that they are grinding their teeth together at night.
Loose or Missing Teeth – A misaligned bite can be made significantly worse by loose teeth and if there are teeth missing from the back of the mouth then the end result can be an unbalanced bite.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder – Also known as TMD this commonly results in headaches, neck and shoulder pain as a result of the jaw problems. In addition to this regular discomfort and pain around the side of the face near the ears and jaw area can also be symptoms of a misaligned bite.
What Does Occlusion Treatment Entail?
Our experts will thoroughly examine and evaluate a patient’s teeth as well as the functionality and health of their whole mouth before recommending the best treatment plan to achieve a healthy and pain free bite.
The type of treatment will depend on the individual patient and their teeth but some of the occlusion treatments frequently used include;
- Teeth Straightening – This orthodontic treatment can be extremely beneficial in some cases in order to correct the out of line teeth by moving them into a new position in order to achieve a well-balanced bite.
- A Mouth / Bite Guard – This is typically worn at night in order to help prevent patients from grinding their teeth or to prevent any damage that can occur when they do.
- Tooth Adjustments – Sculpting, recontouring or changing the position or direction of troublesome teeth can help to correct alignment issues.
- Replacement Teeth –The temporo-mandibular joint needs equal support from both sides of the jaw and missing teeth can cause misalignment and uneven distribution of pressure and bite force. Using bridges or partial dentures, missing teeth can be easily replaced to help resolve the problem.
- Medication – Medication can provide some short term relief for patient but in the long term, dental treatment is the only suitable option.
How Much Does Occlusal Treatment Cost?
As with all dental treatments, the overall price will depend on the individual patient, their teeth and their treatment plan.
Sharrow Dental Occlusion Treatment Essex
If you have been experiencing issues that you think may be a side effect of occlusion or are interested in an assessment with one of our skilled clinicians, then contact us today. The friendly, knowledgeable team at Sharrow Dental are on hand to answer any questions you may have about our occlusion treatments and offer guidance and advice to help you get started on your journey to a healthy, pain free smile.
What causes Occlusion problems?
Dental Occlusion is defined as the way that a person’s teeth meet when the upper and lower teeth come together and a normal occlusion means that they do this without issue, functioning and operating effectively. When this does not occur as it should then it is likely as a result of ‘malocclusion which can affect chewing, bite, dental diseases, oral cavity function, speech and the aesthetics of the teeth.
Malocclusions can happen as a result of a number of things including;
- Inherited conditions
- Prolonged use of bottles and dummies in early childhood
- Habits such as thumb sucking
- Cleft lip and palate
- Injuries that cause a misalignment of the jaw
- Atypically shaped or impacted teeth
- Poor dental care that results in inadequately fitted crowns, fillings or braces
- Obstructed airways caused by things such as allergies or enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
If you are unsure as to whether you have occlusion issues or what your treatment options are then your dentist will be able to carry out an assessment and talk through everything with you.
Can Malocclusion be prevented?
In a large number of malocclusion cases it is caused by a hereditary condition which can make it difficult to prevent it from occurring. However, the growth and development of the teeth and jaw is also influenced by environmental factors which if amended could potentially help to avoid issues of malocclusion from happening.
Parents of young children should be aware of the long term effects that prolonged thumb sucking and use of bottles and dummies can have on the development of the jaw and they should be encouraged to stop as young as possible.
Regular dentist appointments for children are also beneficial to encourage early detection of malocclusion which may help to reduce the severity of the issues decrease the treatment required.
How much does dental Occlusion treatment cost?
As with all dental treatments, the price to resolve a patients occlusion issues will depend on the individual, their teeth, and the type of treatments they require. When you have a consultation with your dentist, they will be able to carry out a full examination which they will use to put together a tailored treatment plan, customised to suit your unique dental needs.
A treatment plan designed to resolve occlusion issues might include - teeth straightening, a mouth guard, tooth adjustments, replacement teeth or medication. The cost of this will obviously vary as some patients will need more than one type of treatment but they can be much less than people expect and offer a lot of benefits for both the current and long term health of your teeth.