Occlusal Disease: The Silent Destroyer

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In order to prevent tooth loss; your dentist will examine the three main causes of tooth loss. Tooth Decay (Cavities), Periodontal (Gum) Disease, Occlusal (Bite) Disease.

Most of us know what a cavity is, as tooth decay has been a common diagnosis for many years. More recently, periodontal disease has gained the fair amount of attention that it deserves. However, many dentists fail to address what the ADA calls The Silent Destroyer, Occlusal Disease (OD). Unfortunately, Occlusal Disease is the most ignored problem in dentistry.

Why is OD going undiagnosed? Simply because it has been misunderstood. Many patients receive repeat treatment, or are referred to an endodontist for tooth pain, when in fact occlusal therapy is what is needed. While OD is not a problem for everyone, for those that have it, the consequences can be devastating.

Signs to look for are:

  • Tooth grinding and wear

  • Flattened and worn teeth

  • Cracked and broken teeth

  • Bone loss and loose teeth

  • Gum recession and teeth sensitivity

  • Frequent headaches

  • Earaches and “stuffiness” in the ears

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Jaw pain and jaw muscle tightness

  • Difficulty opening the mouth and chewing

  • Clicking or popping noise in the jaw joints (TMJ)

Your dentist should check for these signs at each of your preventative visits. With a goal of helping his patients to preserve and protect their natural teeth, Dr. Guardiola has attended many courses on this subject. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact us to schedule an exam with Dr. Guardiola. You can learn more about dental occlusion here.