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. Most commonly, this is caused by daytime clenching or nighttime grinding. We are seeing more occurrences of this due to stress in our daily lives. Another problem that needs correction is abnormal drifting of teeth, which can occur due to spaces from tooth loss or loss of tooth support from gum disease.
Bite therapy helps restore a bite to proper function to prevent 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, day, 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.
- Replacement of missing teeth
We often recommend a protective bite guard for patients. This is especially important for those with dental implants, as natural teeth and dental implants transmit the biting forces differently.