An occlusal adjustment corrects the alignment of the bite and allows your jaw joints (TMJ) to function comfortably. It can work to correct an uneven bite that is a result of loose, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. An evenly distributed bite reduces stress not only on your jaw joint (TMJ) but also on individual teeth. This reduces the chance of tooth fracture and may help to tighten loose teeth. Occlusal adjustment involves recontouring teeth or restorations with a dental stone. Once your bite is adjusted, your teeth should meet comfortably. In addition to occlusal adjustment, (or as a test), a removable bite guard can be fabricated to protect teeth surfaces, and relax jaw muscles.
Who is a good candidate for an occlusal adjustment? Patients whose teeth show significant signs of wear or whose jaws are sore may benefit from this type of adjustment. Loose or shifting teeth will often cause bite changes. Patients who grind or clench their teeth will cause extra pressure not only on the jaw joint (TMJ) but especially on back teeth which can fracture. An occlusal adjustment can shift pressure to teeth more likely to protect back teeth. Sometimes tooth sensitivity can be corrected through an occlusal adjustment as the treatment reduces pressure on the sensitive tooth.