Many people are surprised to learn that bite problems (Occlusal Disease) can be among the most destructive enemies of human teeth, because it’s silent and horrible damage often goes unrecognized. In addition, people may think that tooth wear is a normal process.
Many dentists frequently see patients with tooth sensitivity and offer treatment for it, but do not recognize that it may be caused by Bite Problems (Occlusal Disease). Similarly, bite problems may not be considered but is often implicated in cases of broken or fractured fillings & crowns, patients with fillings at the gum line or even loose teeth. in some instances, patients referred to endodontists for root canal therapy on painful teeth need aonly bite therapy or bite adjustments.
Few dentists routinely include a bite evaluation for all patients, and even fewer are confident of their ability to perform bite therapy. Dr. Stephanie Kinsey believes that a bite assesment should be the new standard of care for all patients.
Recognizing Bite Problems
Occlusal Disease (bite problems) is a chronic destructive process that affect the jaw joints, muscles, teeth, neck & back, as a consequence of bite disharmony and disfunction. It has specific signs and symptoms, and like other chronic diseases, it can only be managed and not cured. In many patients, this tremendously underestimated disease is more destructive than both active decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease) combined, yet the vast majority of dentists do not include routine screening regarding Occlusal Disease. Patients that have occlusal disease (bite problems) may experience tooth sensitivity that leads them to avoid cold food & beverages or use warm water to brush their teeth, in some cases, waking up in pain or with tired facial muscles, as well as fractured teeth and tooth loss.
Assessing the Signs and Symptoms
When performing Occlusal Disease, here are some of the signs that we can see by performing exams in the office, along with diagnostic photographs:
1)Wear on the teeth and fractured teeth/restorations
2) Teeth sensitivity along the gumline
3) Mobile/Loose Teeth
4)Abfractions (this looks like gum recession but comes to a point like a triangle at the gumline)
5)Bones loss, that is secondary to periodontal disease
6) Pain & tired facial
Next Steps Toward Treatment
Occlusal Disease cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with proper Occlusal Therapy. If you, or someone you know has any of these signs or symptoms, please call out office for a consultation, we are more than happy to help any way that we can. It is our job to educate all of our patients; drawing the connection between the patient’s initial complaints with the signs and symptoms discovered during and examination will help patient’s acknowledge their occlusal disease. Education is one of our main focuses at Palencia Dental. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your occlusal disease, feel free to schedule an appointment with us.