518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
Call 09 834 6359

Dental occlusion refers to the way your teeth fit together. If they don’t align properly, then you may experience problems with your teeth, gums and jaw.

We’ve put together this article so you can understand what dental occlusion is and how it can affect your health.

We’ll also explain how your dentist can help if you’re suffering from dental occlusion issues.

What is dental occlusion?

Dental occlusion refers to the alignment of your “bite” or the way the teeth in your upper and lower jaw fit together.

If you have a healthy bite, then the teeth in your upper jaw align just over the teeth in your lower jaw. Your upper and lower molars also fit into each other’s grooves neatly.

If you have malocclusion, this means there is a problem with the alignment of your teeth.

There are three types of malocclusion:

  • Class 1, where your upper teeth moderately overlap your lower teeth
  • Class 2, where your upper teeth and jaw severely overlap your lower teeth and jaw (sometimes called an overbite)
  • Class 3, where your lower teeth and jaw severely overlap your upper teeth and jaw (can be referred to as an underbite)

There are lots of reasons why people have malocclusion. These include:

  • A difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws
  • A difference between the size of the teeth and the jaw
  • Missing, extra or impacted teeth
  • Badly fitting braces, crowns or retainers

Dental occlusion problems

Malocclusion can lead to a range of problems. You may notice:

  • Loose or worn teeth, loose crowns or cracked fillings
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Toothache
  • Receding gums
  • Temporomandibular joint issues (for example, clicking or pain in your jaw joints or clenching or grinding your teeth)
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches

How do you fix dental occlusion issues?

If you think you may have a problem with dental occlusion, the first step you should take is to see your dentist for a check-up. They will take a look at your mouth, and they may take X-rays or an impression of your teeth to understand more about your issues.

Then, they can proceed to devise a treatment plan. This may include:

  • Straightening your teeth with braces or aligners
  • Removing teeth to help with overcrowding
  • Repairing teeth or replacing missing teeth with crowns or bridges
  • Offering a dental guard to protect your teeth from the effects of clenching and grinding

In some cases, surgery to reshape the jaw may be appropriate.

Why is a healthy bite important?

A healthy bite means healthy teeth and gums. If your teeth are properly aligned, then they are easier to clean, so you have less risk of tooth decay or gum disease.

It also means that you are less likely to suffer from temporomandibular joint issues, which can be chronic and debilitating.

A well-adjusted bite can also enhance your appearance, with the bonus effect of boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

Worried about dental occlusion? Make an appointment today

There’s no need to suffer in silence if you are experiencing any symptoms due to the alignment of your teeth.

Simply make an appointment to come and see us at Opal Dental, your local dentist in the Te Atatu area.

Our friendly team is here to listen to your concerns and put together a treatment plan — you’re just one step away from achieving a comfortable mouth and healthy teeth and gums!

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