In the realm of dentistry, occlusal disease may not sound as menacing as some other oral conditions, but don’t be fooled – it can wreak havoc on your teeth. Surprisingly, this harmful condition often goes unnoticed and unrecognized by many, as Neuromuscular Dentistry professionals assert. The consequences of neglecting this issue can lead patients to believe that tooth wear and decay are merely par for the course.
Unraveling the Core of Occlusal Disease
Occlusal disease, more commonly known as the result of misaligned upper and lower teeth, stems from a range of habitual behaviors, including teeth grinding, an imbalanced bite, and even misaligned teeth. Despite being a widely undiagnosed oral condition, occlusal disease is pervasive among the general population. Failing to detect it early on can have destructive consequences.
Detecting Occlusal Disease: A Crucial Step
Although occlusal disease often flies under the radar, it can be readily identified through a comprehensive dental and medical examination. A licensed dentist, with careful scrutiny, will search for telltale signs of occlusal disease in the bite alignment of the upper and lower teeth, the TMJ (jaw joint), and the head and neck muscles. Additionally, the dentist will thoroughly review the patient’s dental history and records, aiming to uncover any indications of occlusal disease. The significance of a meticulous examination cannot be overstated, as it lays the foundation for effective prevention and intervention.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms
Several prominent signs and symptoms serve as red flags for occlusal disease. To ensure peace of mind, it is advisable to consult a licensed dentist promptly if you suspect you may be dealing with this condition:
- Tooth sensitivity to hot and/or cold food and liquids
- Head and neck muscle pain
- Chipped, thinned, flattened, or cracked teeth
- Fractured previous dental work, such as fillings and crowns
- Gum recession
- Loosening of teeth
- Teeth grinding or clenching throughout the day and night
- Jaw pain – characterized by popping, clicking, or locking of the jaw during eating or other jaw movements
Taking Charge of Occlusal Disease: Treatments and Management
While occlusal disease might not be entirely curable, there are various ways to control and manage its effects through appropriate treatment. The first and crucial step is focused on preventative treatment. When you seek guidance from a professional dentist, they will equip you with knowledge and resources to shield yourself from occlusal disease effectively. Education plays a pivotal role in the prevention process, ensuring better clinical outcomes for both aesthetic and restorative treatments.