Dentist in Oakland, CA describes symptoms of bite problems that may require adjustment
At West Portal Family Dentistry, our professionals are here to help patients in and around the Oakland, CA area with a variety of concerns, including bite problems. Poor bite alignment may require adjustment by a dentist, such as Drs. Terri Nguyen or Laura Huynh.
Symptoms of bite problems needing adjustment in Oakland, CA
When the teeth are not properly aligned, it can affect patients’ ability to speak clearly, chew efficiently, and maintain their natural teeth as long as possible. It is essential that patients be aware of the symptoms of a bite problem that may negatively impact their smiles’ health and appearance. Notable symptoms of bite problem, which may indicate the need for bite adjustment include:
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Gum tissue recession
- Chronic headaches/migraines
- Grinding of the teeth
- Pain in the mouth, primarily when eating
- Jaw pain
- Reduced mobility of the jaw
If any of these issues are present, it may indicate a bite problem that needs attention with a dental professional for occlusal adjustment.
What is a bite alignment procedure?
Also known as occlusal adjustments, patients with poor bite alignment can achieve better results by undergoing a bite alignment procedure. This is a specialized technique that improves the way the teeth meet when patients bite down. It is done to reduce strain on the jaw joint, which may be particularly helpful for individuals who have been diagnosed with TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular disfunction issues). Additionally, it can equalize the pressure on each of the teeth, reducing problems such as broken- or worn-down restorations or natural tooth enamel.
The bite alignment process requires several steps. First, patients are evaluated during a comprehensive examination, during which the bite is assessed. This may include the use of x-rays, impressions, and evaluation of past and present x-rays and notes from the dental office. The teeth that require adjustment are often reshaped using a specialized dental drill and then polished to ensure they are beautiful in appearance. Because this is not an invasive procedure, it is done without anesthetics and can be completed in just one visit. In some cases, additional reshaping may be needed, which may require anesthetics. Additionally, if the dentist is addressing a cavity with a filling, anesthetics may also be used.
The benefit of bite alignment procedures is that patients can achieve results and experience relief immediately in many cases. However, if problems persist, more work may need to be done. This can be done at a subsequent visit. Also, if patients are experiencing other problems that may be contributing to poor bite alignment, such as malocclusion, they may benefit from other procedures such as orthodontics, which can align the teeth within the arch and provide more improvement.
What about patients with bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition that causes grinding and clenching of the teeth, often at night when patients are sleeping. Patients who have this condition may also experience a reduction in damage to their teeth with bite alignment procedures such as this. Patients with discomfort from other conditions, including TMJ/TMD, may enjoy having this procedure done as well. Bite alignment procedures can improve a variety of issues that may be affecting the smile’s functionality and appearance.
Who is a candidate for bite alignment procedures?
To determine if a patient can benefit from bite alignment, it is necessary to start with a consultation appointment and evaluation with our team of professionals for a proper diagnosis. Then, viable solutions can be discussed with patients, including not only occlusal adjustment but even more long-term improvements including orthodontic work. No two patients are alike, and neither are their smiles, so it is essential that unique needs are evaluated and addressed with the dentists at West Portal Family Dentistry.
Interested in same-day bite adjustment solutions?
Contact Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura Huynh at West Portal Family Dentistry today for a proper diagnosis of your condition and to seek a single-appointment treatment option that works! We are conveniently located in Suite #4 on 26 West Portal Avenue in San Francisco, CA and serve patients in and around the communities of South San Francisco, San Jose, San Bruno, and Oakland, CA. Patients can book an appointment by calling (415) 661-7779.