What does “occlusion” mean?

Do you suffer from constant jaw, head, or neck pain? If so, it’s possible that your discomfort stems from a misaligned jaw.

If you’ve heard your dentist use the word “occlusion,” he or she is referring to how your teeth meet when you open and close your mouth. Your bite relationship is reliant on several factors, including:

  • The health of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • The health of the muscles around your jaw that work to open and close your mouth
  • The binding surfaces of your teeth and how well they simultaneously meet when you bite down
  • The amount of wear or flattening of the cusps (peaks) of your teeth
  • The level of jaw pain you experience when you bite down
  • If any teeth are loose

If you experience jaw pain or any of the symptoms above and live in the northern Chicago area, call Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517 to reserve an appointment with TMJ expert Dr. James Fondriest. To diagnose your condition, Dr. Fondriest will examine your teeth and bite relationship, as well as take x-rays to determine what’s going on under the surface of your gums.

Possible treatments for TMJ dysfunction include:

  • Orthodontic therapy to realign your teeth
  • Wearing occlusal/bite appliances to try to relax the muscles and joints
  • Oral surgery
  • Behavioral and relaxation therapy

A misaligned jaw is something that should not be postponed as far as treatment is concerned. Don’t live in discomfort any longer. Call Lake Forest Dental Arts today to reserve your appointment.

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