Bite Problems and Diagnosis

Occlusion describes how our teeth fit together and how we chew or function.  Your clinical exam includes and evaluation of your teeth and the associated jaw muscles and joints. Healthy biting patterns result in minimal tooth wear, teeth that are stable and pain free jaw muscles and joints. Bite problems can result in chipped or worn teeth, loose teeth or painful jaw muscles and/or joints (TMD or Tempomandibular Disorder).  We diagnose the severity of bite problems by evaluating the amount of the following:

  • Tooth Wear
  • Looseness

Muscle/Joint pain (TMD-Tempomandibular Disorder)

Signs and Symptoms

Diagnosis for bite problems are based on difficulty chewing, worn teeth, changes with the position of your teeth over time, or pain in your jaw joints.

Based on these parameters, you will be given a Risk Assessment:

  • Hi = Poor prognosis if not treated
  • Moderate = Fair prognosis, may or may not require treatment
  • Low = Excellent prognosis, no treatment  necessary

Treatment Options will be discussed including:

  • Diet Modification
  • Maintenance/Reexamination
  • Appliance Therapy/Protection
  • Functional Analysis to determine definitive treatment plan.
  • Rebuild Teeth

Treatment Considerations:

Appliance Therapy (Nightguard) 

A nightguard is a custom acrylic splint that is designed to fit the upper or lower teeth, protect the biting surfaces of your teeth, and minimize any excessive forces on the jaw muscles and joints.

Functional Analysis

A functional analysis is a multistep procedure that provides diagnostic information to analyze your bite.  The following steps may be part of your functional analysis:

  • Diagnositic Impressions
  • Facebow Records
  • Bite Records
  • Photographs

After analysis of your bite problems, a custom treatment plan will be developed and presented to you.


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