“Occlusal” means, “pertaining to the contacting surfaces of opposing teeth.” When tooth surfaces are not in harmony between the upper and lower teeth, an “occlusal adjustment” may be necessary. That’s because teeth that do not fit together properly can affect the rate of progression of periodontal diseases or contribute to other oral health problems. Perhaps your periodontist has recommended an occlusal adjustment because periodontal diseases have damaged your teeth’s supporting structures and caused them to shift – or maybe you’ve recently had restorative work that has slightly changed the way your teeth fit together. These and other reasons – from genetics to teeth clenching or grinding – can require an occlusal adjustment to help you achieve occlusal harmony and create a bite that’s functional and healthy.
During an occlusal adjustment, your periodontist may take a mold of your teeth or ask you to bite down on a tape-like substance called “articulating paper” to identify the areas of occlusal concern. Teeth with less than optimal contact will be reshaped. IN addition, your periodontist might prescribe an “occlusal guard” or “night guard” to be worn at certain times during the day or night to minimize the effects of teeth grinding or other occlusal concerns. You can generate 4 to 6 TIMES the normal bite force at night when you grind your teeth than during the day