Occlusal Disease Treatment (TMJ)
Occlusal disease is a term that very few dental patients are familiar with. This is suprising since the vast majority of people have some degree of occlusal dental disease.
The five signs of occlusal disease are:
1. Jaw pain, clicking, locking
2. Head and neck muscle pain, tension headaches
3. Severe wear and/or chipping of your natural teeth
4. Loose and/or shifting teeth
5. Gum recession and/or grooves on exposed root surfaces
Occlusal disease of the teeth is characterized by excessive or abnormally accelerated tooth wear. This pathology can cause destruction of some or all of the components of our masticatory (chewing) systems. These components are the teeth, the supporting bone, the gums, the jaw joint, and the muscles. In many cases if left undetected and untreated, occlusal disease can become quite disfiguring to the teeth and debilitating to our ability to chew.
The underlying cause is deflective interferences on the back teeth or in other words, back teeth hitting against each other in a glancing manner. Back teeth have cusps and fossas. The cusp is the point and the fossa is the valley. The cusp (or point) of one back tooth, therefore, will contact the fossas (valley) of the opposing back tooth. The ideal human bite has all of the cusps of all of the back teeth resting perfectly in the opposing fossas while the two jaw joints are fully seated in their sockets. This bite allows all of the teeth to bear an equal load down their long axis at the same time the two TM (jaw) joints are braced in their sockets thus allowing the forces of chewing and other functions to be equally and evenly dispersed throughout the masticatory system. This is the least stressful and least destructive bite relationship for your teeth, bone, joints, muscles, and yes, your new dental work.
You should always be evaluated for occlusal disease before embarking on any extensive dentistry.