Teeth are supposed to touch together as a unit when biting and clenching your teeth. They should fit together like well-customized gears. When your teeth don’t fit correctly and some teeth touch harder than other teeth, you can have significant long-term consequences such as pre-mature wear, pain, and tenderness of the affected teeth. Some of the signs that may justify a bite adjustment are grinding or clenching of your teeth, loose or shifting teeth, headache, pain upon eating or biting, and sensitivity to cold or/and hot.
The purpose of adjusting a bite is to reduce pressure on teeth, the supporting structures, and muscles. Many people are unaware that they are clenching or grinding their teeth because it is most likely to happen during sleep at night. A bite adjustment is especially recommended for patients with periodontal disease who are have deep pockets around teeth that are contacting pre-maturely. It is a painless procedure and the adjustment can insure that your biting forces are evenly spread out as much as possible, in which the excessive pressure on the teeth and supporting stuctures is minimized or eliminated.
Dr. Cook first will do a comprehensive assessment of your bite including X-rays. He will also review any dental procedures that you have had in the past. Dental impressions will be made to accurately diagnose the problem. Next, the teeth will be marked to determine which spots are receiving harsh pressure, with the use of indicator tape. Then, the reshaping is performed with a dental drill. Follow-up visits are made to insure the problem has been corrected.
It is very important to keep your following visits even though you may feel an improvement immediately. After the initial reshaping, you may realize that other teeth touch at a higher position than they should. These teeth are reshaped at follow-up visits.
Patients who are often grinding or clenching their teeth at night, we recommend a night guard to protect against tooth wear.
If you feel you have a problem that relates to your bite, Dr. Cook can improve your situation and tailor an individual treatment plan to correct your biting problem!