Balancing Your Bite Forces

Occlusal Equilibration is a term used in dentistry to discuss the balancing of the bite relationship. The lower jaw is a "u-shaped" bone, which has two joints, one at each end. When the jaw system is functioning properly, the lower jaw is able to freely hinge at the joints and close together with the lower teeth contacting the upper teeth very evenly all the way around the arch. This is what creates a "solid bite."
When there is a discrepancy in the bite, then problems can develop. If any teeth interfere with healthy jaw movement and tooth alignment during closure, the jaw will have to shift in order to fully close the teeth all the way together. This shifting of the jaw creates stress on the whole system and can result in:

  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
  • Muscle tension in your face and jaw
  • Headaches
  • Severe wear of your natural teeth, as well as loose teeth
  • Chipping and breakage of teeth
  • Crack lines in teeth
  • Gum recession and other associated problems
  • Grooves or notches forming on exposed root surfaces

We use a specialized software that helps us to evaluate the current bite relationship between your teeth and determine how it can be improved.  This program shows us ideal alignment for the jaw joints and individual teeth, so we that have a roadmap to follow.

If these signs of instability are found as we examine your mouth, we then consider occlusal equilibration as a treatment to remedy your issues. We take make molds or replicas of your teeth and we work out intricacies of what needs to change on the models so we know we have a definitive treatment plan. We then create phases of treatments using the models, before we move to treating your actual teeth. We will reshape the biting surfaces of individual teeth, which may be interfering with the proper bite/joint relationship. By making these corrective changes, we are able to establish a harmonious and stable system, reducing or eliminating the pain and damage you may have had before. 

f you are experiencing worn or chipped teeth, jaw joint discomfort, or headaches, we invite you to schedule a consultation to see if a bite imbalance is the cause. 

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