Your bite (or your occlusion, which is how your jaws fit together) may play a significant role in the severity of your periodontal disease.  Excessive force from clenching or grinding, which is called occlusal trauma, will loosen teeth or cause excessive wear of the teeth.  In addition, occlusal trauma may result in migration of teeth, pain, bone loss or the fracture of teeth.  In many cases, patients are not even aware of their clenching or grinding habits as it happens when they are asleep.

What are the causes of occlusal trauma?

There are many, including a poor bite, stress, missing and unreplaced teeth with the migration of remaining teeth, and faulty fillings, crowns or partial dentures.

What is the treatment for occlusal trauma?

The most common treatment options are a selective bite adjustment and an occlusal guard.  An occlusal guard is a hard plastic appliance that will fit over your upper or lower teeth and prevent your teeth from squeezing together.  The occlusal guard is worn mainly during sleep and prevents excessive forces on the teeth and supporting jaw bone.  Other treatment options may include splinting of loose teeth, orthodontic treatment, replacing missing teeth and even selective extraction of a poorly positioned tooth.