Dental Occlusion

Dental occlusion is the way in which your upper and lower teeth come into contact with each other. Whether this is at rest or while your chewing, dental occlusion is all about how your teeth touch each other and whether their alignment is healthy or not. There's a number of different types of occlusion including;

Static Occlusion - This refers to the alignment of the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is stationary and at rest. In order to measure your static occlusion, your mouth must be observed when its at rest.

Centric Occlusion - This is the way in which your teeth fit together when your jaw is closed. Centric occlusion is all about the ways in which the teeth align as you bite down. The ideal centric occlusion has all your teeth properly aligned with no over or underbite and no crossbite.

Malocclussion - Malocclusion occurs when teeth aren't aligned properly and so don't fit together in the right way. This can cause over, under and crossbites which can cause a number of problems, both dental and medical.

Problems with Malocclusion

Malocclusion causes problems for your teeth and gums, it can make fillings, crowns and other restorations wear out and break quicker than normal. Malocclusion can also cause receding gums, sore teeth and Temporormandibular joint (TMJ) problems which may result in clicking, grinding and severe pain in the joint of the jaw. Due to the unnecessary strain put on the muscles of the jaw, patients with malocclusion can develop fatigue in their muscles leading to sinus problems, neck and shoulder pain and headaches. Malocclusion can also result in occlusal trauma which causes pain, excessive wear and several problems with the movement of teeth including crowding.

Treatment

After your dentist diagnoses the right problem, a range of treatments can be used. The first stage is usually to help combat the pain involved before implementing treatment to correct the problem which can involve moving some of your teeth, orthodontics or dental restorations like crowns. These solutions can also be used in the long term to help protect your teeth from grinding at night and other sorts of wearing. Occlusal equilibration may also be used where the tops of your teeth are re-shaped in order to alleviate pressure on the individual teeth. Other options include occlusal restoration where reshaping procedures involving crowns, dentures or bridges are used to alleviate the problems. Orthodontics are commonly used when the position of your teeth are the cause of your TMJ problems. Orthodontics can be used on just one or two teeth and modern braces are aesthetically discreet and so barely visible.