Incorrect occlusion, i.e. a lack of proper contact between the upper and lower teeth across the entire surface, can cause many dental – and not only dental – problems. It happens that patients with occlusion problems have been seeking help from laryngologists or neurologists for years, while the person who could effectively help them is a dentist specializing in treating masticatory disorders.
It also happens that patients with less obvious symptoms of occlusive disease report to our clinic.
This can be e.g. tooth hypersensitivity to cold and warm food, cracking of enamel, chipping of tooth fragments, jaw pains radiating to the area around the ear, tinnitus, loose teeth, toothache of unknown origin (teeth are properly treated, but they hurt for no reason) or pain in various areas of the face.
Incorrect occlusion may also lead to pathological abrasion of teeth and adversely affect the aesthetics of the smile. Let’s add here that short, worn-out teeth with uneven edges not only cause bite deformation but also make the face seem much older.
The longer, the worse
Occlusion problems grow over the years. The chewing organ dysfunction is a multi-stage process and may initially not cause major problems. This is because the entire dental system (which consists of teeth, facial muscles and joints) initially adapts to pathological bite conditions.
With time, however, the “snowball” effect begins to work – one abnormality leads to the next one, with time causing serious functional disorders of the entire chewing organ. Patients are often unaware that such problems as the jawbone or difficulties with closing and opening the mouth may have their primary source in a rather trivial problem, such as worn and uneven teeth.
As a result, it becomes necessary to rebuild the entire dental system, and not just cure a single tooth.
Symptoms of occlusive disease
Incorrect contact of upper and lower teeth over time leads to various complications. The most common symptoms of occlusal disease include:
- Jumping in the temporomandibular joint (which may be accompanied by crackling or crackling),
- Tight muscles in the face, neck and neck,
- Frequent, annoying, morning headaches,
- Uncontrolled gnashing of teeth and subconscious clamping of teeth in stressful situations (bruxism),
- Pain in teeth or facial muscles that occurs when biting food.
The treatment of occlusion problems can be complex and lengthy
The treatment of occlusal problems is always tailored to the individual patient and takes into account the conditions in the oral cavity. So there is no single, universal method used by a dentist for all patients.
Depending on the factors that prevent a proper short circuit, the dentist may, for example, propose:
Equilibration – consisting of selective grinding of teeth participating in so-called premature contacts. The treatment is painless and completely safe for the teeth, does not cause damage to the enamel,
Correction of existing fillings by adding or removing the height of the seal or changing its shape (the filling must not be flat, should reproduce the natural chewing surface of the tooth).
Usually, the equilibration and correction of fillings significantly improve biting comfort and bring considerable relief to the patient.
However, in some more complicated cases it is necessary to implement prosthetic or orthodontic treatment. It also happens that occlusion problems cannot be cured without the intervention of a maxillofacial surgeon or implantologist. However, in most cases, in order to achieve a satisfactory result, it is necessary to combine different treatment methods and to plan them carefully over time.
At Vinci Clinic, patients with masticatory problems can count on:
In-depth and comprehensive diagnostic tests to design the most optimal way to correct the dysfunctional chewing organ;
Comprehensive, time-based treatment, taking into account the patient’s financial capabilities (we propose temporary solutions, which on the one hand allow to maintain the effects of the existing treatment and on the other hand do not burden the patient’s pocket);
The most advanced occlusion treatment techniques – Kois deprogramming, functional occlusion according to Dawson Academy;
The care of a team consisting of doctors of various specialities, in many cases jointly deciding on further treatment;
Access to archived materials: digital photographs and films documenting the successive stages of treatment.
A dysfunction is otherwise a malfunction of a given organ. In the case of the masticatory organ, the dysfunction may manifest itself as problems with biting and chewing food, inability to open the mouth wide open, etc.
One of the steps in the treatment of abnormal shortening of the jaws is the application of so-called relaxation rails. These are transparent overlays on the teeth, which make it impossible to tighten them. The overlay is made after the impression is taken. It is put on the upper teeth and protects them from friction against the lower teeth. It is worth knowing, however, that although the overlay effectively prevents the consequences of bruxism, it does not cure its cause.
There can be many causes. Mental factors, bruxism triggers, physiological or iatrogenic factors (i.e. those resulting from previous treatment) may be responsible for occlusion problems.
It’s worth knowing that the absence of even one tooth causes bite changes. However, the most fatal consequences are extensive deficiencies in lateral teeth. Then the front teeth are overloaded and lean forward and, as a result, their pathological clash and occlusion is reduced or even lost.
Short-circuit correction, or equilibration, consists of changing the shape of teeth, fillings and crowns in such a way as to allow the correct movement of the mandible when biting. During the equilibration, unwanted tooth protrusions and bites are eliminated with fine drills.