Healthy bite – occlusion and malocclusion


When you come to your friendly dentist at Epping Dentist for a check-up, one of the things he or she will check is your occlusion – or malocclusion.

“Occlusion” and “Malocclusion” are just fancy terms that refer to how the teeth in your upper and lower jaws touch each other and how they move sideways when you close your jaws.

Healthy occlusion, a healthy bite, occurs when your teeth are in touch with each other as they are meant to. Your upper and lower molars will interlock simultaneously and evenly with a little more pressure than on the teeth in front of them. The outer edge of the upper molars will sit just outside the outer edge of the lower molars. The upper front teeth will come down in front of the lower front teeth with only a little touching.

The factors that go towards a healthy bit include having a centred TMJ in its jaw socket; the shape, size and position of your teeth; the shape, size and position of your jaws, and the muscles that move the jaws.

Because there are many factors involved in having a healthy bite, it is easy for some part of it to be not quite right. Your Epping Dentist will check that your bite is healthy. If your bite is misaligned in some way, so you have a “malocclusion”, your dentist will suggest a customised treatment plan to gradually improve it over time. It will probably be non-surgical in nature, involving Invisalign or other braces.

It is important to have a healthy bite so that you can avoid head, jaw, and toothache; chipped, or cracked teeth; tooth loss; excessive tooth wear, and possible chewing and speaking difficulties.

So, if you are concerned that your bite might not be as healthy as it could be – or that you have unexplained head, jaw or toothache, please see your Epping Dentist about it. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be blessed with a healthy bite.