Don’t Leave Occlusal Disease Untreated!

Don’t Leave Occlusal Disease Untreated!

When it comes to maintaining oral health, occlusal disease is one of the most overlooked yet significant conditions that can affect both your teeth and overall dental structure. Occlusal disease involves problems with the alignment of the teeth when the jaws are closed, leading to issues that many might not immediately associate with dental misalignment. As a leading dentist Melbourne FL loves, we at Artistic Touch Dentistry are dedicated to educating our patients about the risks of untreated occlusal disease and the importance of seeking timely treatment.

Understanding Occlusal Disease

Occlusal disease is a condition characterized by abnormal contact between the teeth of the upper and lower jaws. This can lead to excessive wear and tear on your teeth, gum problems, and even discomfort or pain in the jaw joints and muscles. The symptoms and damage caused by occlusal disease can often go unnoticed because they develop gradually, making it crucial to understand and recognize the signs early.

Symptoms of Occlusal Disease

Some common symptoms of occlusal disease include:

  • Excessive tooth wear, leading to flattened, chipped, or cracked teeth.
  • Tooth sensitivity due to the loss of enamel.
  • Gum recession, which may expose the roots of your teeth, leading to sensitivity and increased risk of cavities.
  • Muscle pain and fatigue in the jaws, especially after waking up or long periods of chewing.
  • Frequent headaches and discomfort around the temple area.
  • Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds from the jaw joint.

Causes of Occlusal Disease

Occlusal disease can result from several factors, including:

  • Natural misalignment of teeth.
  • Loss of teeth without proper replacement.
  • Old or poorly designed dental restorations that do not fit well.
  • Developmental conditions affecting jaw growth.
  • Recognizing these causes early and consulting a dental professional can prevent the progression of occlusal disease.

Consequences of Untreated Occlusal Disease

Leaving occlusal disease untreated can lead to several severe complications:

  • Tooth Damage: Continuous grinding and clenching can lead to significant tooth damage, which might require extensive dental work.
  • TMJ Disorders: Misalignment can strain the jaw joints, known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), potentially leading to painful TMJ disorders.
  • Loss of Tooth Structure: As teeth wear down, you may experience a change in the appearance of your smile and face, affecting your confidence and quality of life.
  • Increased Dental Sensitivity: As enamel wears away, teeth become more sensitive to hot, cold, and sweet foods and drinks, making eating and drinking uncomfortable.

Treating and Managing Occlusal Disease

At Artistic Touch Dentistry, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnose and treat occlusal disease. Our treatment plan typically includes:

Using advanced diagnostic tools, we assess the severity of occlusion issues and the impact on your oral health. This might involve digital imaging techniques and physical examinations of jaw movement. Based on the diagnosis, a customized treatment plan is developed. This may include one or several of the following approaches:

  • Tooth Adjustment: Minor reshaping of the biting surfaces of the teeth to improve contact and relieve pressure.
  • Mouthguards and Splints: Wearing custom-made mouthguards or splints can help manage teeth grinding and protect against tooth wear, especially during sleep.
  • Restorative Treatments: Replacing old or worn-out fillings, crowns, or bridges that contribute to poor bite alignment.
  • Orthodontics: In cases where misalignment is due to the position of teeth, orthodontic treatment like Invisalign may be necessary to align the teeth properly and relieve symptoms.
  • Ongoing Management: Managing occlusal disease is often a long-term commitment. Regular check-ups allow for adjustments to treatment as needed and help prevent the recurrence of the problem.

Prevention of Occlusal Disease

Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to occlusal disease. Regular dental check-ups are essential, as they allow for early detection and treatment. Being aware of symptoms like jaw pain or noticing changes in your bite can also help you seek professional advice early.

Additionally, reducing stress and being mindful of not clenching or grinding your teeth can help manage and prevent the symptoms associated with occlusal disease.

Making Dental Health a Priority for Life

Occlusal disease, if left untreated, can lead to a host of dental and facial issues that affect your health and quality of life. At Artistic Touch Dentistry in West Melbourne, we emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and comprehensive treatment to manage this condition effectively. If you suspect that you or someone you know might be suffering from occlusal disease, don’t hesitate to contact us. As your dentist Melbourne FL trusts, we are here to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile free from the complications of occlusal disease.

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.