Occlusion, in a dental context, means simply the contact between teeth. More technically, it is the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest (Wikipedia). Many people are unaware that they have occlusal problems! When you close your mouth and tap your teeth together lightly, if your teeth do not feel as if they are hitting evenly, or certain teeth feel that they are hitting first, it is highly likely that you have occlusal problems. If you feel that certain teeth are slightly loose and are hitting more heavily than others, you definitely have occlusal problems. Occlusal problems may be caused by various habits such as grinding your teeth or clenching your teeth. They may also be caused by teeth shifting as a secondary result of periodontal disease. Regardless of how your occlusal problems started, they can overtime lead to other problems if not addressed. Those problems include TMJ disorder, loosening of healthy teeth, cracking and breaking other teeth and restorations, and a general destruction of your existing dentition. If caught in the early stages, a simple occlusal adjustment, which may only be a 15 minute appointment, can easily get you back on track. If you're having any TMJ pain or jaw pain of any kind, you should seek professional help ASAP, to avoid creating bigger problems than needed. At Buffalo Dental Implant we are well-versed in treating these types of problems and with proper diagnosis and treatment planning we can easily get you back on your way to a happy healthy bite.