Occlusion is the specialty of dentistry that diagnoses, prevents and treats masticatory system problems. This area studies diseases associated with the temporomandibular joint, as well as diseases related to the muscles and ligaments that support this joint.
The masticatory system consists of three systems: p>
- the dental system, related to dental occlusion;
- the bone-articular system (upper, lower jaw and TMJ);
- and the neuromuscular system (muscles related to mastication and the nervous system of control and coordination)
The word occlusion comes from the Latin occludere which means to close.
Maintaining a balanced occlusion is essential for chewing, swallowing and phonetics.
When this occlusion is not in a normal state, there is a dental malocclusion that appears generally associated with the abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth. This condition has consequences for the teeth and for the func- tions. tions.
Dental malocclusion is also a very common consequence of temporomandibular disorders. Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are often related to the oral condition, the number of teeth and their position in the oral cavity.
Frequently asked questions
The origin of these pathologies is multifactorial.
Currently, there are 3 main groups of etiological factors, the anatomical (occlusion and joints), the neuromuscular and the psychological.
The symptoms of pathologies associated with occlusion problems are very varied and often confused with other pathologies.
They are often associated with headaches (headaches), tooth wear, muscle fatigue of the head and neck (myalgias), pain during chewing or phonetics, clicking during mouth opening and closing movements, difficulties in obtaining quality sleep at night, limitation in maximum mouth opening (maximum mouth width).
The mainstay of treatment is to re-establish the balance between the different components of the masticatory system.
– Most patients require the use of an interocclusal gutter.
– But in many cases there may be a need for orthodontic treatment: it solves bad tooth positions that lead to occlusal problems.
– Prosthetic reconstructions, to compensate for missing teeth or tooth wear< span class="Apple-converted-space"> using fixed prostheses and/or surgical techniques such as implants.
Due to its multifactorial cause, the treatment should be multidisciplinary , therefore, it may be necessary to refer the patient to other specialties, namely psychology, psychiatry, physiotherapy and neurology.