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Occlusal Disease

Occlusal Disease or bite problems occur when the teeth do not fit together as they close together.

If the teeth do not hit or mesh together correctly, one or more of the following can happen:

(1) The teeth will get loose (like rocking a fence post in the ground). This can cause the loss of the tooth directly or indirectly by making the tooth more susceptible to gum disease and bone loss in the presence of periodontal disease.

(2) The teeth will eventually break, especially if they have large fillings that weaken them. Mercury/silver filling material expands over time and actually causes fractures of otherwise healthy and normal tooth structure.

(3) The teeth will wear down (sometimes clear to the gum) or may cause damage to the jaw joints (TMJ) and cause head pain or headaches.

(4) Continued excess forces on teeth can cause chronic inflammation of the pulp (nerve) tissue. This can be present itself as sensitive teeth, either a single tooth or an entire mouth may be affected. The accumulated trauma to the teeth can cause the nerve tissue to die. The necrotic (dead) nerve tissue is then like gangrene and can spread into the bone around the end of the tooth. The only treatment available at this point is extraction or root canal therapy.

Treatment of Occlusal Disease:

Treat of bite problems is specific to the individual. Occlusal problems may be solved as simply as shaving off some enamel from a single sensitive tooth to relieve excess pressure. Other patient may require full mouth reconstructive dentistry or orthodontics.

Often treatment consists of the fabrication of a nightguard, a plastic mouthpiece worn at night or during periods of extreme stress. Since the plastic of the mouthpiece is softer than the enamel of the teeth, the nightguard will wear and not your teeth.

With few exceptions, these three causes of tooth loss do not cause pain until damage has become extensive. This is the one major reason why we recommend periodic check ups in our practice.

We know that it is in our patients' best interests to detect and treat problems early in their development. Treatment is less complicated, less time-consuming, and less expensive when treated early.

Our dental practice offers a comprehensive range of services for adults and children. We refer to some of the best specialists in the New York.