This article will equip you with explanations and information on how to identify and address this common and harmful condition. Occlusal disease is the most common and most undiagnosed disorder in terms of oral health. The reason for it’s under or misdiagnosis is due to it also being the least understood disease in dentistry.

“Occlusion” means “bite.” It refers to how the upper and lower teeth meet whenever the jaw closes. The damage done by Occlusal disease often goes unnoticed, yet it remains a highly destructive condition. The best way to treat Occlusal disease is by visiting an Ottawa orthodontist. For a clearer picture of what the disease is and what damage it does, read on.

Occlusal Disease

The disease potentially damages your joints, muscles, periodontium, and teeth. All of this makes up what is known as the “entire masticatory apparatus” in dentistry terms. The condition happens when your teeth are out of alignment so significantly that it harms your teeth, jaw muscles, and joints. Keep in mind that misaligned teeth may appear straight.

Some associated problems with occlusal disease are broken or fractured fillings. Mobile teeth mean teeth that aren’t still in their sockets and such teeth can become excessively worn due to misalignment and being overworked as a result. Tiny fractures can surface as a result, which is known as Cracked Tooth Syndrome and sometimes occurs below the gum line. Finally, occlusal disease can result in total tooth loss.

In our modern times, tooth loss is less prevalent. Occlusal disease, on the other hand, has increased, especially in senior demographics. When occlusal disease is caught early on, a great deal of pain and costs can be avoided.

Consequences of Occlusal Disease

Occlusal disease affects the masticatory, phonetic, and aesthetic functions, meaning your ability to chew, speak, and the appearance of your teeth and jaw. Muscle pain may make it difficult to eat and tooth fractures or missing teeth cause difficulties chewing and swallowing as well. Overall, tooth sensitivity increases in various ways.

If occlusal disease often remains undiagnosed because of patterns of use of jaw, joints, and muscles when chewing. New patterns arise in order to compensate for misalignment or faulty positioning, hence masking the disease itself. Another reason occlusal disease goes under the diagnostic radar is because the signs and symptoms often seem unrelated to one’s bite. To get a better idea, let’s cover the symptoms of occlusal disease.

Symptoms

Blunt Appearance
Wear on the biting surface (blunt appearance). Sometimes described as the teeth having been buzz-sawed horizontally.

Loose Teeth
The teeth may so loose that they move in their sockets. This could be because of other reasons, such as tooth decay.

Sensitive Teeth
Teeth may become sensitive to chewing or hot and cold temperatures. Again, this is often mistaken for cavities formed from tooth decay and does not necessarily suggest misalignment.

Fracture-Prone Teeth
Because the teeth may not be sturdy in their sockets or properly aligned, chewing becomes inefficient and can cause fractures.

Soreness, Headaches, and Popping
A sore jaw, frequent headaches, or jaw joints that pop and click are all signs of occlusal disease.

Acid Reflux
Excess acid present in the mouth is another indicator of occlusal disease

Breathing Disorders
Certain breathing disorders, including Sleep Apnea, have been linked to occlusal disease.

Correction
The most important thing to understand about correcting occlusal disease is that this problem doesn’t go away on its own. The more time passes, the worse the problem gets and more correction means higher costs.

Corrective steps administered by a professional orthodontist are necessary. Treatment must be administered to correct alignment first, however, different approaches are necessary. Occlusal disease is never completely the same for two individuals. Some examples of occlusal disease are overbite, underbite, and crossbite. Each requires a different method of treatment from an orthodontist.

Restorative measures, such as enamel reshaping, can balance a bite whenever an imbalance exists. Crowns, inlays, onlays, and dental veneers can help to build up teeth. These work to prevent further damage by reinforcing the enamel, the structure of the tooth, and protect the softer tissue beneath the enamel known as “dentin.”

Teeth grinding, especially at night, can contribute to occlusal disease. Investing in a splint or night guard prevents grinding from wearing down teeth as well as jaw pain.