Is Your Bite Off?

In Teeth by Dr. Donald Johnson

A patient’s tooth can become uncomfortable after the dentist cements a crown onto it.  The patient may think that root canal treatment is needed; and if something is not done, that may be the treatment needed.  After a short exam by another dentist, the patient is found to be biting on the new crown too heavily.  After adjusting the bite on the crown, the pain is gone.  And the tooth remains pain free for years afterward.

A bad bite can cause problems, pain, and the need for further dental treatment.  This bad bite is called malocclusion.  Your occlusion is the way your teeth come together and they do that about 2,000 to 3,000 times a day when you swallow!  Malocclusion means that the teeth do not come together correctly each time you close.  Thank goodness that this condition is treatable.

Most dental procedures including orthodontics, tooth replacement with implants or bridges, placement of fillings for cavities, denture placement, and crowns placed for damaged teeth may cause bad changes in the occlusion.  This is called malocclusion and may cause uneven wear in teeth or even cause the teeth to fracture or need root canal treatment.  This malocclusion can even cause problems with the TMJ (jaw joint).

Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) and facial pain are conditions in which the TMJ and its muscles do not work properly.  One could experience mild pain, clicking, and popping noises all the way to severe jaw and muscle pain, headache, migraine, and jaw locking open.  Frequently, malocclusion causes these TMJ symptoms.

These are just a few examples of problems with the dental bite.  The way one’s teeth come together causes other problems and symptoms.  Remember, your teeth have to come together every time you swallow and that is 2,000 to 3,000 times a day.  That’s about a million times a year.  If you think you have a problem with your bite, call and make a consultation appointment.  There is no charge for consultation appointments in our office.