How our Teeth Come Together.

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How our Teeth Come Together.

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016 at 10:21 pm.

The contact between the upper and lower teeth, in dental terms, is called occlusion. More specifically it’s the relationship of how the top and bottom teeth approach each other in order to chew or rest.

In dentistry there are many branches or relationships of occlusion as it relates to the teeth, jaw, and movements. The functions of chewing, swallowing, and speaking are largely dependent on the way the upper and lower teeth come together.

Malocclusion is simply known as a “bad bite”. It is the misalignment of teeth and jaws and can cause a number of health and dental problems.

Malocclusion is the result of the body trying to function effectively in a an environment that is not optimal. It can be associated with a number of problems, including crooked teeth, gum problems, TMJ disease, and jaw muscles. Teeth, fillings, and crowns may wear, break, or loosen changing the way the teeth come together and with this they can become tender and painful. Crowns and fillings may not contact properly which can result malocclusion. A faulty bite can cause receding gums as the bone as well as tender teeth and gums. Jaw muscles may have to work harder, which can lead to fatigue and or muscle spasms if they are not in the right position. Many of these associations can lead to difficulty chewing and functioning properly, headaches or migraines, eye or sinus pain, and pain in the neck, shoulder, or even back. Malocclusion can be a contributing factor to sleep disordered breathing which may include snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and / or sleep apnea. Stress, sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or crooked or missing teeth may cause teeth grinding or clenching. This habit can not only cause aching muscles, but can wear down your teeth and damage dental work. Untreated malocclusion can lead to trauma and damage the teeth.

Some of the treatments for different occlusal problems include braces, tooth adjustments, replacement of teeth, medication (usually temporary), a diet of softer foods, techniques to relax tensed muscles, relaxation therapy for stress-related clenching or protecting the teeth with dental splints/night guard to prevent the teeth from touching while you sleep.
If you think you might have malocclusion, schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. May and her staff about your symptoms and concerns. Please call the office at 661-505-2926. Our address is 25385 Wayne Mills Pl. Valencia, Ca. 91355 in the plaza on the corner of Magic Mountain Pkwy and Tourney Rd. We’ll help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you. As always, we look forward to providing you with outstanding dental care!