Although more and more people are becoming educated about dental issues like cavities and gingivitis, occlusal disease remains relatively unknown. Unfortunately, this means that many people fail to recognize the signs that they may be suffering from this issue. If you would like to improve your knowledge about dental disorders and complaints, read on. This article will present three symptoms that may be indicative of occlusal disease.
A Brief Word About Occlusion
It's good to start with a basic explanation of just what is meant by dental occlusion. This term simply designates the degree of contact--whether good or bad--between the upper and lower sets of teeth. Poor occlusion, which involves only certain teeth coming together, increases the stress these teeth are subject to. The strain involved can also lead to a number of other problems, both with the teeth themselves, as well as with the supporting muscles of the face and jaw. Fortunately, in most cases occlusal disease can be largely mitigated through the technique known as occlusal adjustment.
Symptom 1: Dental Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitive teeth are perhaps the most widespread symptom of occlusal disease. Yet not all hypersensitive teeth indicate occlusion problems. Here the issue tends to experienced along the cervical margins. This term refers to the area of the tooth located where the crown and the root come together. Likewise, the sensitivity will likely only be experienced in the teeth that are able to touch fully, as these teeth tend to receive an excessive amount of stress.
Symptom 2: Loose or Wobbly Teeth
A tooth that experiences either lateral or front-to-back mobility is another frequent sign of occlusal disease. This condition, officially known as dental hypermobility, is the result of recurring stresses that jar the tooth loose in its socket. In order to assess whether occlusal disease is at the root of the problem, your dentist will probably suggest taking a radiographic image. If this image reveals no problems in the underlying bone support, then occlusal disease is most likely the culprit.
Symptom 3: Pain in the Face or Jaw
The chief characteristic of occlusal disease--poor alignment of teeth--not only increases the stress placed on certain teeth, but also on the supporting muscles of jaw and face. As a result, patients suffering from poor occlusion often experience pain and/or soreness in those muscles. Often this pain is only experienced when chewing, although it may become chronic should the problem persist long enough.
For more information, or to diagnose your dental issue, talk with a dentist, such as those at Orthodontic Associates, as soon as you can.