During your appointment at Hawkins Family Dentistry, you might hear us mention the word “occlusion.” This is simply a way of saying the way your teeth are aligned and how your upper and lower teeth fit together. Occlusion is probably not something you think about very often, but it is very important to the health, functionality and appearance of your mouth.
Dr. Hawkins wants to make sure you understand why the alignment of your teeth is such a big deal, and the options you have to fix any problems you may have. Always be sure to bring up any questions you may have with our Midlothian, VA dental staff, whether you have an appointment or call us up on the phone.
Are Your Teeth Aligned?
Malocclusion is when teeth are not aligning properly, and it can be caused by a number of things both in and out of your control. Often, malocclusion is hereditary, which means if your parents’ teeth didn’t align properly, chances are yours won’t either. This could be from the shapes of your jaws, overcrowded or unevenly spaced teeth, or an abnormal bite pattern.
Changes in your mouth can also have a dramatic effect on the alignment of your teeth. These can include:
Most people have some degree of misalignment in their teeth, but it doesn’t always cause problems. Hawkins Family Dentistry staff will always check to make sure everything looks right, and you should make sure to let us know if you have any pain or discomfort.
Symptoms of malocclusion include tooth pain, jaw pain, sensitivity to cold or heat, discomfort while biting or chewing, jaw popping, and mouth breathing due to an improperly closing mouth.
Align Your Bite
If Dr. Hawkins discovers that your bite is not aligned and that it is causing problems for you, there are a number of options available to fix the issue. A simple light filing of protruding points may get rid of any pain or discomfort, or we may readjust any new dental work you have in your mouth. In more troublesome cases, we might recommend braces or other appliances to straighten your teeth. The treatment for your mouth depends on your individual variables, and we will always make sure to find the best solution for all of our Midlothian, VA patients!