“Bite” is the term used to describe the way a patients teeth naturally fall when the mouth is shut. For optimal oral health, there are certain requirements for a patients bite. In cases of abnormal bite, the teeth or jaws may become damaged. We can help to restore a safe, healthy bite through a number of bite adjustment procedures.
Bite Adjustment Importance
When the bite is abnormal, daily use may place excessive stress on certain teeth or areas of the mouth. Over time, this can cause damage such as premature wearing of the teeth, tooth loosening, or conditions like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). TMJ is a group of disorders affecting the jaw and jawbone. Bite adjustment is important for preventing these issues and protecting the long-term oral health of the patient.
Gum Disease Risk
Abnormal bites may also contribute to periodontal disease and poor overall dental health. When teeth are crowded or misaligned, they may create additional spaces in which bacteria and food particles may become trapped. In cases where these spaces are difficult to clean, the patient may have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease, or gum disease. Bite adjustment can help to correct misalignment and reduce these oral health risks.
Bite adjustment may occur in the form of tooth reshaping. During this procedure, the periodonist will reshape the surfaces of the teeth that make abnormal contact when biting. This can help to reduce excessive pressure that’s placed on the teeth during normal daily use. Tooth reshaping will ultimately evenly distribute the bite pressure across all teeth so that the teeth no longer face excessive risk of damage.
Bite splints are custom-made plastic bite guards made to keep the patients teeth apart. They can be used during the day, at night, or at all times. The application and use of the bite splint will depend on each patients specific oral needs, and will therefore vary for each patient.
Braces are among the most common techniques for bite adjustment. Braces use physical pressure to shift the position of the teeth over time. The most common types of braces are metal or ceramic brackets that are bonded to the surface of the teeth and tightened using wire. Other types of braces come in the form of a mouthpiece which may be removed when needed.
Replacement and Reconstruction
In some cases, tooth replacement or reconstruction may accomplish adequate bite adjustment. The periodontist may replace worn out, old, or damaged fillings to restore a proper bite. If natural teeth are damaged or badly worn, they may be constructed using a number of techniques.