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OCCLUSION DENTISTRY

Occlusion Dentistry

Occlusion in dentistry is the field which aims to treat malocclusion which affects masticatory muscles and temporomandibular joint. Most common problem found is Bruxism.

Bruxism is the excessive grinding of teeth while sleeping. Patients may experience jaw pain, joint or cheek muscle fatigue in the morning. People who share the same bedroom might hear the grinding sound at night. However, patients might not aware of his own condition.

Biting force when sleep is stronger than when we are awake. Several symptoms could be found in the oral cavity of bruxism, such as attrition, tooth fracture,sensitive teeth. This parafunction might lead to problem of masticatory muscle and the joint.

Abnormality of masticatory muscles and temporomandibular joint

Temporomandibular joints are located next to the ears. They are synovial joints articulating between condyles, which are part of mandibular, and temporal bone of the skull. Articulate discs at the joints helping smooth the movement. There are also ligaments and muscles attached to the joints for border movements. These organs are the main components of what so called “Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)”.

Disorders of these joints are called “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)”.

Symptoms of TMD

  • Pain of the joints (next to the ears) and/or pain of the jaw, cheek and temporal
  • Limitation of mouth opening, pain when opening the mouth
  • History of jaw lock
  • Clicking sound when opening and closing the mouth
  • Deviation of jaw when opening, pain when chewing
  • Some patients experience pain in the ear cavity, headache or migraines

Causation of TMD

The causation is unclear. However, TMD might be cause from multiple factors

  • Malocclusion
  • Disharmonization of occlusion. For instance, removal of molar which cause tooth tipping to the space and lead to malocclusion.
  • accident to the joint
  • Unbalanced function of the muscles due to chewing on one side
  • Chewing hard sticky food or chewing bubble gum frequently
  • Bruxism
  • Stress

In normal joint movement, condyles normally move with articulate discs. However, in disorder condition, articular disc displaced to the front while condyle displaces backwards. In mouth opening, condyle slips over the disc making “click” sound. When mouth closing, condyle get back to former position making another “click”. Without proper treatment, this condition might get worse.

If those symptoms occur, patients should seek professional advice. The treatment mainly uses occlusal splint or night-guard.

Patient self-care before seeing the doctor

  1. Refrain from eating hard, sticky or crunchy food. Avoid chewing gum. Take soft diet. Limit mouth opening. Do not bite on big chunk food.
  2. If waking up with muscle pain causing limited mouth opening (1-2 fingers width),use three fingers( index, middle and ring fingers) to massage and press down on the muscle for 15-30 minutes. After, apply hot compress with towel soaked in lukewarm water for another 15-20 minutes. These treatments will release pain and increase mouth opening.

Why is dental occlusion important?

Occlusion is very important to the actual dentistry in terms of providing patients with a stable occlusion so they do not have too much force on any particular teeth, which could damage the teeth in the short or long term. 

FAQ

    A:Most will start by asking you a few general health questions and enquire whether you have experienced any dental problems or pain. Your dentist should then carry out a full dental examination of the soft tissue lining of your mouth, teeth and gums.
    A:The dentist will give you advice about how to care for your child’s early teeth. As your child gets older, he or she should have dental checkups as often as the dentist advises. Most dentists recommend a dental visit every six months to help prevent cavities and other problems.
    A:Every 6 months to remove tartar accumulation, which can develop to more serious condition. Additional to cleaning, patient will receive a check up to maintain good oral health condition and enhance oral hygiene instruction.
    At the ivory dental clinic, we have “Air flow” machine which can thoroughly remove stubborn stains. The patients can be ensured that you will leave the clinic with a fresh clean smile! Your teeth will also be cleaned at your visit. Brushing and flossing help clean the plaque from your teeth, but you can’t remove tartar at home. During the cleaning, your dental professional will use special tools to remove tartar. This is called scaling.
    A:Be sure to take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can manage it by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for good oral care at home.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss daily.
    A: Silver amalgam fillings can last from 10 to 15 years before they need to be replaced. Composite resin fillings don’t last as long. You may need to replace them every five to seven years.

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