Occlusal Adjustment (Bite Adjustment)

San Francisco Bay Periodontics

A bite is considered to be healthy when all or most of the teeth are present and not destroyed by normal daily usage.

It is destructive when teeth show wear, looseness or when TMJ (jaw joint) damage is seen. Bite therapy helps restore a bite that can function without damage and destruction. The therapy may include:

  • Reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth and eliminating spots of excessive pressures where the teeth are brought into contact. This is done by carefully dividing bite pressures evenly across all of the teeth.

  • Bite splint therapy using a custom-fitted and adjusted plastic bite guard to keep the teeth apart, worn during the day, at night, or both.

  • Braces to reposition mal-aligned or drifted teeth.

  • Replacement of old, worn out, or damaged fillings.

  • Reconstruction of badly worn and damaged teeth.

With the loss of bone support which comes with periodontal disease, tooth loss without replacement, or other reasons, teeth can shift into a traumatic position. As a result, the teeth will not touch evenly. Some teeth will be subjected to more forces than they can tolerate and may display increased looseness. Over time, these teeth are more susceptible to bone loss. Bite adjustment (occlusal equilibration) smoothes off the high spots and spreads normal chewing forces evenly over all the teeth to help improve stability and reduce progressive bone loss.

In addition to bacteria, the forces of the bite can accelerate the destruction of your jawbone and the loosening of your teeth. Minor polishing of the surface enamel is done to redistribute and redirect the Occlusal (biting) forces. Occlusal adjustment may require several appointments and does not harm the teeth in any way. There is no discomfort or need for anesthetic.