Introduction to dental function

Teeth that function well

The way that teeth function and contact against each other (the bite or occlusion) is extremely important. This affects chewing, speech and the comfort of the jaws and muscles. Yet many dentists are ignorant of this aspect or neglect it and most patients are unaware of the problems that a poor bite can cause.

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All the dentists in our City of London EC4 practice periodically ensure that these ‘teeth sets’ are in good shape and that the upper and lower teeth interact properly in what is called the ‘bite’.

Nature has designed your teeth for maximum operating efficiency.

  • Your Incisors (at the front) cut food with a scissor-like action
  • Your Canines (the pointy teeth next to these) tear and rip food and protect other teeth from wear during sideways grinding
  • Your Premolars and Molars (at the back) break down and grind the food – all to help you digest

Getting your dental ‘bite’ right

When upper and lower teeth touch each other and certainly when they ‘clench’, they have to do so in the right position and with evenly balanced force. Your canine teeth should serve their extremely important ‘protective’ function during sideways movement (particularly when such movement is done excessively in grinding or ‘bruxing‘ – nighttime grinding).

Our dentists in the City of London invest time to check that the bite functions as it should.

The tips of the canines prevent all other teeth from destructively rubbing against each other during tooth grinding. If and when they wear down, the front teeth particularly contact and quickly start chipping and wearing down, becoming short and stubby. Appropriate treatment involves restoring the worn down canine tips. To prevent excessive destruction this bruxing habit must be identified early.

Functioning as nature intended

You should have no undue hypersensitivity, mobility or movement of teeth during function. If you feel that your facial muscles are overstressed, it means that they are continuously working in conflict with tooth contacts.

Any of these symptoms may indicate that your teeth are misaligned, may be ‘clashing’ and causing damage and discomfort over time.

Whiter smile

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