If you’ve ever heard Dr. Goad or any of our staff mention the word “occlusion” at your appointment, you may have some questions. All we’re talking about is the way your teeth fit together, both in their own rows and between the upper and lower jaws. This might not be something that seems all that important, but it can be crucial to maintaining the health, functionality and appearance of your mouth.
We want everyone in Richardson to understand what the big deal is with aligning your bite and your teeth so that you can make informed dental decisions. Make sure to bring up any questions or concerns you have at your next visit to our office, or always feel free to call us if something seems more pressing.
Are Your Teeth Aligned?
Malocclusion is when teeth are not aligning properly, and it can be caused by a number of things both in and out of your control. Often, malocclusion is hereditary, which means if your parents’ teeth didn’t align properly, chances are yours won’t either. This could be from the shapes of your jaws, overcrowded or unevenly spaced teeth, or an abnormal bite pattern.
Changes in your mouth can also have a dramatic effect on the alignment of your teeth. These can include:
- Loss of teeth, naturally or through extraction
- Chipped teeth
- Jaw injury
- New fillings, crowns, bridges, or dental appliances
- Braces or retainers
- Tumors of the mouth or jaw
Most people have some degree of misalignment in their teeth, but it doesn’t always cause problems. Our Richardson dental staff will always check to make sure everything looks right, and you should make sure to let us know if you have any pain or discomfort.
Symptoms of malocclusion include tooth pain, jaw pain, sensitivity to cold or heat, discomfort while biting or chewing, jaw popping, and mouth breathing due to an improperly closing mouth.
Align Your Bite
If Dr. Goad discovers that your bite is not aligned and that it is causing problems for you, there are a number of options available to fix the issue. A simple light filing of protruding points may get rid of any pain or discomfort, or we may readjust any new dental work you have in your mouth. In more troublesome cases, we might recommend braces or other appliances to straighten your teeth. The treatment for your mouth depends on your individual variables, and we will always make sure to find the best solution for all of our Richardson patients!