What Is an Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment & How You Can Tell If You Need One

Occlusal Adjustment - Bite Adjustment

A bite adjustment definitely sounds more significant than it is, however, the potential symptoms that commonly precede an occlusal adjustment or bite adjustment procedure can be uncomfortable. Not everyone has a normal bite. From popping and clicking noises when opening and closing the jaw, to uneven wear on the enamel, more likely than not, you’ll be able to recognize when your bite isn’t aligned.

What Happens if A Bite Adjustment Isn’t Treated?

If left untreated, the misalignment may result in you unconsciously clenching, grinding or gnashing your teeth while awake and during sleep. This is known as bruxism and can lead to headaches, neck aches, jaw pain and even cracked or worn teeth.

How Can I Prevent Symptoms

To prevent these uncomfortable symptoms, it is important to see your dentist at the earliest signs that something isn’t quite right with your bite. At each visit we check for any misalignments that might require adjusting. When Dr. Balog asks you to bite down and smile, among other things, he is looking to make sure the bottom and top teeth rest comfortably and evenly on each other.

What Does A Bite Adjustment Do?

Simply put, a bite adjustment corrects the alignment of your bite and evenly distributes it to eliminate irregular pressure on one side of the mouth. Sometimes tooth sensitivity may be corrected through an occlusal adjustment as the treatment reduces pressures on sensitive teeth.

The process for an occlusal bite adjustment is easy and convenient. We utilize articulating paper to mark the teeth where the points of contact are during biting and grinding. This allows us to notice the slightest irregularity and make only the adjustments that are necessary.

Once we have identified the irregularities, we eliminate the interference by smoothing the tooth or teeth until the bite is realigned, often resulting in improved patient comfort. However, to prevent any future wear on the teeth, we may recommend a bit guard for sleep.

If you’re noticing any irregularities when you bite down or general discomfort, please make an appointment today.