How Does Periodontal Disease Affect your Bite?Everybody’s teeth fit together slightly differently as your bite is unique, and very few people have a bite that could be considered absolutely perfect. At Contemporary Periodontics and Implant Surgery Center we will consider a bite to be healthy when the majority of the teeth are present, and are not excessively damaged by wear and tear that occurs every day, or by disease. Your bite cannot cause periodontal disease, but problems with your bite can make this disease worse.
If you are missing some teeth, or they are perhaps worn down or loose then this could worsen any periodontal gum disease. Missing teeth enable the remaining teeth to shift out of position, changing your overall bite. In addition, your bite can begin to change as part of aging.
Changes to your bite can also affect your jaw joints which are called temporomandibular joints. You have a temporomandibular joint either side of your jaw, and they are responsible for moving the lower jaw. Even a slight change to the way your teeth bite together can place stress on this joint, which in turn can cause pain in the jaw joints. It can also lead to headaches and even neck and shoulder pain.
Adjusting your bite so your teeth fit together correctly can be done in several different ways.
Reshaping Tooth Surfaces
It is sometimes possible to carefully reshape the biting surfaces of your teeth through identifying high points on particular teeth. Removing these high points helps reduce the pressure on the teeth so the forces created during biting and chewing are distributed more evenly over all your teeth.
A bite splint is a custom-made device that fits over your teeth so they cannot come into contact. It usually covers your upper teeth and is worn overnight or while asleep. It helps move the jaw to a more relaxed position, enabling the joints and muscles to relax.
Replacing Old Fillings or Restorations
Bite adjustment can sometimes be as simple as replacing old and worn out fillings, or other restorations such as dental crowns. All fillings need replacing periodically as part of a regular maintenance plan as this helps to protect the rest of the natural tooth underneath the filling from any more damage or decay.
If the remaining natural teeth have drifted substantially out of position, orthodontics can help to reposition them correctly.
Restoring Damaged or Worn Teeth
Teeth can become damaged or worn down, especially if you have begun to clench or grind your teeth due to changes in your bite. Restoring these damaged surfaces with dental bonding, fillings or with dental crowns can help restore your bite.