Dr. Ronald Petrosky, One of "America's Top Dentist" in Little Egg Harbor - Tuckerton offering Mini Dental Implants of New Jersey, Dental Implants- New Jersey, CEREC Crowns/ Onlays- New Jersey, Laser Periodontal Therapy (Lanap) of New Jersey, Lumineers-New Jersey, Laser Dentistry-New Jersey, Cosmetic and General Dentistry-New Jersey also serving Galloway, Manahawkin, Long Beach Island, Barnegat, Forked River, Toms River, Lakewood, Freehold, and Manalapan Area.
     Occlusal Therapy / Bite Adjustment / Night Guard Make an Appointment

Occlusal (Biting) Forces can equal 500 lbs/square inch!

When the jaws close your teeth should come together evenly and at the same time, without any tooth or teeth touching before another. When they don't touch evenly, this puts stress on your teeth, supporting bone, jaw joints and muscles. Clenching or grinding can magnify this problem.


Occlusion

Signs and symptoms of unhealthy or destructive occlusion (bite) include:

  • Wear, fracture or chipping of teeth
  • Sensitive crevices on teeth or gums
  • Gum and bone recession
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Worsening of periodontal disease
  • Damage to dental bridges and dental implants
  • Tender muscles, headaches and noises when you open and close your jaw

Occlusal (Bite) Therapy

Very few people in the world have what periodontists and dental professionals consider a perfect bite. You can have a bite that is not perfect but is still quite healthy. A bite is considered to be healthy when all or most of the teeth are present and the bite functions with all the protective mechanisms intact. A bite is considered to be unhealthy or destructive when the signs of tooth wear, mobility (looseness) or TMJ (jaw joint) damage are seen.


Equilibration

Bite therapy is designed to regain a bite that can function without damage and destruction. Bite therapy may include some or all of the following:

  • Bite adjustment or equilibration to divide the biting pressure evenly across all of the teeth. This is done by carefully reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth and eliminating spots of excessive pressure when the teeth are brought into contact.
  • Bite splint therapy uses a custom fitted and adjusted plastic bite appliance (guard) to keep the teeth apart at night, during the day or both
  • Cold Laser Therapy to relax the facial and masticator (chewing) muscles
  • Orthodontic therapy (braces) to reposition mal-aligned or drifted teeth
  • Replacement of old, worn out or damaged restorations (fillings)
  • Reconstruction of badly worn and damaged teeth

Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment

Occlusal (bite) problems often go unnoticed by patients because they are accustomed to the bite they have had all their lives. However, a problematic bite can cause many issues, such as bone loss, broken teeth, excessive wear on teeth, increased looseness of teeth and jaw joint problems. These conditions tend to worsen and become more evident over time.

The focus of this segment is on the bite as it relates to periodontics and dental implants. However, the bite is associated with many dento-facial problems and pain coming from dental and facial structures.

Some bite problems can aggravate periodontal problems. We see this most often in trauma from occlusion cases where there have been longstanding problems. There are many signs of trauma from occlusion that help periodontists identify whether the bite may be contributing to your periodontal disease.

A problematic bite can also severely compromise the longevity of a dental implant, which is why a comprehensive evaluation is so important in both periodontal and dental implant cases.

The process of reshaping (occlusal adjustment) can include just a few teeth or all of the teeth. Once completed, the reshaped areas are polished, sealed with a fluoride varnish, and checked. After treatment you will notice that your bite is improving when you close together, making you feel more comfortable.

Occlusal (Bite) Guards

Occlusal (bite) guards and Mouth guards can help protect your teeth and TMJ (jaw joint) from damage due to clenching and grinding. These guards are important for people that grind while sleeping. The habits of clenching and grinding may cause:

  • Wear, fracture or chipping of teeth
  • Sensitive crevices on teeth or gums
  • Gum and bone recession
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Worsening of periodontal disease
  • Damage to dental bridges and dental implants
  • Tender muscles, headaches and noises when you open and close your jaw

Occlusal guards (also called night guards) can be useful to protect your dental work, decrease symptoms, allow jaw alignment and act as a guide for your bite adjustment. In severe cases when symptoms persist, they are worn even after teeth have been accurately reshaped.