Occlusal “Bite” Therapy
Bite therapy is used to treat common symptoms of occlusal disease such as: tooth wear, sensitivity, cracks, loose teeth, breaking teeth, sore muscles, painful jaw joints, and headaches.
As you chew, your upper and lower teeth come together and push against the skull. If you have missing teeth, an uneven bite, or misaligned teeth, the muscles of the jaw have to work harder to bring the teeth together. If you also clench and grind, the strain in this system only increases.
Recommended treatment commonly begins with “bite splint” therapy which is a hard acrylic appliance fabricated to fit snugly over either the upper or lower teeth. This appliance often becomes a temporary perfect bite - relieving symptoms and improving comfort for the patient.
In the following steps of treatment, Dr. Sander uses information gathered from the bite splint to perform a new bite evaluation. He may ask permission to reshape teeth so they move more smoothly for a more cohesive bite - the same solid position felt on the bite splint.
Sometimes, teeth that have suffered damage and extreme wear require restorations to return the teeth back to proper form. If this is necessary, Dr. Sander evaluates the restorative needs thoroughly recommending the most conservative and esthetically appropriate options for the patient to choose.
About Occlusal Disease
There are primarily three diseases that negatively affect the teeth. Those are: decay (cavities), periodontal (gum) disease, and occlusal (bite) disease. Most people are very familiar with the first two, however, occlusal (bite) disease does not always present itself so obviously. The symptoms of occlusal disease: wear, sensitivity, cracks, loose teeth, breaking teeth, sore muscles, painful jaw joints, headaches and other symptoms are often not associated with the true underlying cause of a poor bite.
Dr. Sander has spent much of his career studying advanced dental care at the Pankey Institute and related institutions to help treat occlusal “bite” related disorders with the most minimally invasive approach possible. Dr. Sander believes that providing you with all the information about what is happening with your bite today will impact your treatment decisions that will affect your teeth five, ten, twenty, or more years from now.