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What Is an Occlusal Tooth Surface?


Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Close-up Teeth X-ray of molarsYou may have never heard of an occlusal tooth surface, but they are a vital part of your dentition. In fact, your occlusal tooth surface has a lot of jobs, and if it has issues, it can affect your chewing as well as your jawbone. Here are some important facts about your occlusal tooth surface and why it is important to keep them healthy.

About Occlusal Tooth Surfaces


Your occlusal tooth surface is an interesting part of your back teeth. Occlusal tooth surfaces are the biting surfaces of your premolars and molars. Unlike your other teeth, where the biting surface is even and narrow, your occlusal tooth surface is wide and jagged. This jagged tooth surface, with contours and grooves, allows your teeth to grip, chew, and crush your food. In fact, your molars and premolars handle the bulk of the heavy lifting as far as processing your food for digestion goes.

Problems With the Occlusal Tooth Surfaces


While your occlusal tooth surface does amazing work, it can also become problematic for your dental health. First, your occlusal tooth surface is the surface more likely to have cavities than any other tooth surface. Researchers think the reason your occlusal tooth surface is more prone to cavities is because of its uneven biting surface and also because it is difficult to keep molars clean. Also, because molars are your largest teeth, it can be difficult to spot a cavity on the uneven surface of those teeth until it becomes large and painful.

Occlusal tooth surfaces can also present problems for your bite. If your back teeth do not line up when you close your mouth, you may have an issue (or malocclusion) with your bite pattern. It is important that your occlusal tooth surfaces line up perfectly so that your teeth and jaws are able to do their work. Malocclusions can lead to pain and inflammation in your jaw joint if they are not treated.

Not sure if you have a problem with your occlusal tooth surface? Let us help you. Contact our office today to make an appointment.

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