A Correlation Between the Troubled Economy and a Bad Bite?
NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Paul Tanners thinks so. He is a prosthodontist in Midtown Manhattan, and he reports that he has been seeing more and more occlusal disease as the economy remains weak. Dr. Tanners, a specialist in restorative dentistry, attributes the increase in part to stress caused by difficult economic times. Patients are clenching and grinding their teeth more, throwing off their bite. When their occlusion isn’t in harmony, these patients break or wear down their teeth.
Some of the patients who manifest with occlusal disease come to Dr. Tanners with such questions as: Why are my teeth chipping and breaking? Why are they sensitive? Loose? Why can’t I put my teeth together comfortably? Why do my jaw muscles hurt? Why am I having headaches?
Occlusal disease, also called malocclusion, is caused by a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the upper and lower jaws. If left untreated, the disease can damage not only the teeth but their supporting structures (bones and gums) as well. It can also lead to pain in the masticatory muscles and temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
Proper occlusion is the cornerstone of all restorative dental procedures and also the common denominator throughout all dental disciplines, Dr. Tanners explains. Teeth are only one part of the whole chewing apparatus and must be in harmony with the other parts – the joints and muscles that close the jaw. The teeth cannot function properly unless both anterior and posterior teeth are in harmony with the joints, muscles and each other.
The bite of the teeth must be adjusted, Dr. Tanners notes, to prevent the types of conditions cited above. Different types of treatment can be offered to the patient to correct the bite, including occlusal equilibration (bite adjustment), orthodontic therapy, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and partial or full mouth reconstruction.
In a healthy occlusion, the teeth must meet comfortably, with no stress on the musculature or joints. When biting, all teeth should meet simultaneously and, when the jaw starts to move, the back teeth should be immediately taken out of contact by the front teeth.
Dr. Tanners advises patients showing signs of tooth wear, fracture, mobility or muscle pain – particularly patients under a lot of stress – to tell their dentists and to seek professional advice for treatment. Even patients who have had restorative dentistry performed in the past can have severe problems when their bite is incorrect. Some of this dentistry may, in fact, be contributing to the malocclusion. Treating occlusal disease can lead to a long life of optimal oral health and restorative success. www.drpaultanners.com
Contact Joe Calderone @CPR 212-832-9809 CalderonePR@aol.com
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SOURCE Dr. Paul Tanners