You may never have heard of occlusal disease, but it may be ruining your smile. This little-known condition is one of the top three reasons why patients lose their teeth. Occlusal disease can be just as destructive to your teeth as decay and gum disease.
Q: What Is Disease?
A: Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws do not fit together properly. With correct alignment, the upper teeth sit just a bit farther forward than the lower ones, and when you close your mouth, they fit together like puzzle pieces with the longest parts of your top teeth fitting into the indentations in your lower ones. If your alignment is off, you may develop dental problems. This misalignment is called occlusal disease or malocclusion.
Q: What Are the Symptoms of Occlusal Disease?
A: There are seven primary signs of occlusal disease. You may experience just one of these symptoms or several of them. They are:
– Excessive wear on the teeth
– Extreme sensitivity
– Loose teeth
– Grooves along the gum line
– Bone loss
– Discomfort, including headaches, migraines, sore muscles, and temporomandibular joint pain
Q: Who Can Diagnose Occlusal Disease?
A: Not all dentists are familiar with these seven symptoms. For an accurate diagnosis, visit a dentist who is experienced in managing occlusal disease. Dr. Donald Tormey at Classic Smiles Dentistry knows the signs and how to help.
Q: How Is Occlusal Disease Treated?
A: The dentist may recommend treating your occlusal disease with orthodontic appliances or a mouth guard that you wear at night. If further treatment is needed, the dentist may suggest removing or reshaping teeth or performing surgery.