Bite (Occlusal) Equilibration

Occlusion refers to the relationship between your upper and lower jaw, which affects the temporomandibular joints positioned on each side of your face, next to your ears. When the jaw system is functioning properly, the twin joints allow your jaw to open, close, and move about comfortably. They also guide your lower teeth to meet your upper teeth squarely and evenly. When there’s a discrepancy in your bite, your jaw will overcompensate and shift every time you bite, chew, and speak. This shifting can place an immense amount of pressure on your teeth, jaw muscles, and jaw joints (TMJs), creating stress that can manifest as teeth-grinding (bruxism), TMJ disorder, and further misalignment of your teeth.

What Is Bite Equilibration?

As Dr. Lawson examines your oral health during your preventive exam, she may spot signs of distress related to bite imbalances (referred to as malocclusion). Using advanced diagnostic models and digital imaging equipment, Dr. Lawson can determine if bite equilibration can help correct your occlusal relationship.

Bite (or occlusal) equilibration means lightly reshaping the chewing surfaces of one or more teeth that may be interfering with your bite balance. In many cases, minor adjustments to a few select chewing surfaces will help all of your upper and lower teeth meet evenly again. By reestablishing proper equilibrium to your bite, you can prevent the development of potentially serious issues, including:

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Disorder
  • Chronic bruxism
  • Tension in your jaw and facial muscles
  • Excessive tooth wear
  • Chipped, cracked, and damaged teeth
  • Loose teeth (forced out of position by undue bite pressure)
  • Gum recession and an increased risk of periodontal disease
  • The exposure of your underlying roots, making them vulnerable to sensitivity and decay

If your examination reveals evidence of malocclusion, then Dr. Lawson will consult with you personally to explain how bite equilibration can help, and exactly what you can expect from the procedure. To schedule your visit, call our dental office in Urbandale, IA, today at 515-278-4366.