Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment is a procedure in which the dentist removes interferences from your teeth, thus treating misaligned teeth, a bad bite, crooked teeth, malocclusion, and other dental problems. You may need bite adjustment if your teeth don’t close properly because it can lead to several other complications, such as TMD or bruxism.

At Sapphire Smiles, we look for signs of misaligned teeth and crooked teeth during regular dental checkups. If you have misaligned teeth, our dentist will recommend the ideal occlusal adjustment procedure for your needs. Please continue reading to learn more about occlusal adjustment equilibration at Sapphire Smiles.

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Are you interested in transforming your smile? Speak to our dentist to see if a occlusal (bite) adjustment is required.

Introduction to Occlusal Adjustment, aka Occlusal Equilibration

Occlusal adjustment goes by many names, such as bite adjustment, bite occlusal alignment, occlusal equilibration, malocclusion treatment, and many others. However, all of them refer to the same overarching procedure — the removal of interferences from your teeth to ensure proper alignment of teeth. Occlusal adjustment equilibration treats misaligned teeth, a bad bite, and crooked teeth, thus preventing severe complications such as malocclusion, bruxism, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), etc. Dentists usually look for signs of misalignment during regular dental checkups.

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Do you have misaligned teeth? An occlusal (bite) adjustment might be the right option for you. Schedule today!

Importance of Occlusal Adjustment Equilibration

  • Remove Interferences: There may be interference in your mouth due to dental works like crowns, bridges, and fillings. The occlusal adjustment removes these interferences to ensure a healthy bite.
  • Dental Fractures: If you have a bad bite, you also have an uneven distribution of bite force. As such, when you bite down or close your teeth, some of your teeth sustain more impact than others. Over time, this can weaken some of your teeth, leading to the wearing away of enamel and dental fractures and cracks. You need bite alignment to minimize the risk of dental fractures.
  • Restorative Dentistry: Your dentist will recommend bite alignment before you opt for certain prosthetic or restorative dentistry procedures, such as dental crowns and dental bridges.
  • Prevent Malocclusion: If you don’t treat a bad bite, you may eventually suffer from malocclusion — misalignment of teeth and jaws. Over time, malocclusion leads to severe complications, including constant headaches, persistent bruxism, insomnia, fractured teeth, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
  • Orthodontics: You may need occlusal adjustment before you opt for cosmetic orthodontic procedures, such as braces or Invisalign aligners.

Causes of Bad Bite and Misalignment

  • Genetics.
  • Losing baby teeth too early.
  • Harmful childhood oral habits, such as thumb-sucking.
  • Prolonged bottle-feeding or use of pacifiers.
  • Poor tongue and swallowing habits.
  • Mouth breathing.
  • Sustained orthodontic issues during childhood and adolescence.
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Occlusal Bite Adjustment Diagnosis

Your dentist will look for signs of misaligned teeth and malocclusion during regular dental checkups. He may even ask you to bite down on a piece of paper to examine your bite’s alignment. The following signs indicate that you may need occlusal bite adjustment:

  • Your jaws don’t close properly on one side of your face.
  • Your jaw makes popping or clicking sounds when you open or close them.
  • Signs of dental fractures that get worse over time.
  • Signs of premature wearing away of enamel.
  • Persistent teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism).

Occlusal Bite Alignment Procedure

  • The dentist will ask you to close your teeth and bite down on a piece of double-sided articulating paper. This will allow the dentist to see which side of your teeth are making contact. A healthy bite is one in which both make equal contact together. As such, if only one side is making contact, it’s an indication that its depth is different from the other side.
  • The dentist will use fine diamond or carbide burs to shave off some of the dental structure from the side of the teeth making contact. This is done to ensure both sides have the same length of crowns. The dentist may shave the teeth in the shape of a cusp tip or flatten them, depending on the location.
  • In a healthy bite, the anterior teeth should make limited contact, compared to the posterior teeth. As such, the dentist will use the same articulating paper to determine if your anterior and posterior teeth are aligned. Based on that, the dentist will shave the relevant teeth to ensure bite alignment.
  • After reshaping your teeth, the dentist will ask you to bite down on the articulating paper again.

Prevent a serious dental fracture caused by misaligned teeth. Come into Sapphire Smiles and speak to our highly skilled dental team.

Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment Q&As

What should your bite look like?

The following are some of the principles of a health bite:

  • The middle of the upper teeth should line up with the middle of the lower teeth.
  • Your upper teeth shouldn’t hood over or fall short of the lower teeth.
  • The posterior teeth should make more contact than the anterior teeth when you bite down.
  • When you bite down, both sides of your teeth (left and right) should make contact.

How can I know if my bite is off?

Your bite may be worn if you suffer from persistent bruxism, have jaw soreness and pains, and if your teeth appear cracked and chipped for no apparent reason.

What can cause a bad bite?

Some of the potential causes of a bad bite include impacted teeth, abnormally shaped teeth, prolonged bottle-feeding in childhood, persistent thumb-sucking in childhood, mouth or jaw tumors, poor oral hygiene, etc.

Can fixing your bite fix TMJ?

Bad bite is one of the leading causes of jaw pains and TMJ disorder. As such, fixing your bite can resolve or significantly relieve TMJ problems.

Do you want to learn more about Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment? Ask us!

Contact Sapphire Smiles for Occlusal Adjustment in Houston Heights

Sapphire Smiles is a reputable dental clinic in Houston Heights. Our goal is to help you achieve and maintain the most beautiful smile possible. To that end, we provide a wide range of treatments for occlusal adjustment and bite equilibration. Our exceptional dentist will examine your teeth to look for signs of misalignment and recommend the ideal occlusal adjustment treatment for your specific needs. For more information, please schedule an appointment for bite alignment at Sapphire Smiles, Houston Heights.