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Occlusal Adjustment (Bite Adjustment)

The way your bottom and upper teeth interact when chewing or resting is known as your occlusion. A healthy bite is one in which the upper teeth slowly overlap the lower teeth when at rest. Having a misaligned bite, depending on the severity, can be fairly harmless and not lead to any major complications with eating, chewing, or speaking. 

However, for some, their irregular bite can cause extreme discomfort and even long-lasting symptoms. When this is the case, it is recommended you receive an occlusal adjustment to have your misalignment properly diagnosed and treated. To see if you are a good candidate for an occlusal adjustment procedure, it is best to reach out to a dedicated Union City oral surgeon today. Our doctors at Union City Oral Surgery Group have devoted their careers to the well-being and overall oral health of our community, and we would love to help remedy your discomfort today.


An occlusal adjustment is a fairly simple procedure that is designed to help straighten out your bite and any misaligned teeth. Also known as malocclusion, the misalignment of your teeth can be categorized into three separate categories:

  • Class One: Class one malocclusion includes a regular bite but overcrowding, irregular spacing between the teeth, or other alignment irregularities. 
  • Class Two: Class two malocclusion is commonly referred to as an overbite, which is when the upper teeth extend far past the bottom. 
  • Class Three: Class three malocclusion is an underbite, which is when the bottom teeth extend far past the upper. 

Misalignment, or the need for an occlusal adjustment, can come from a variety of sources. Commonly, it is genetic and passed down from parents. Other common reasons include cleft palate, impacted teeth, improper oral care, thumb-sucking, or prolonged bottle feeding. When gone untreated, the individual may begin to experience general discomfort and problems chewing. 

Expected side effects can include biting the cheeks and tongue, as well as cracking or chipping your teeth. In more extreme cases, a lisp may develop, as well as temporomandibular joint problems.


Once your misalignment has been diagnosed, your oral surgeon can begin to prep you for the occlusal adjustment procedure. This can be broken down into the following steps:

The Procedure

Most commonly, before beginning the procedure, your oral surgeon will test your bite. This can be done by having you bite down on a special colored strip of paper that marks exactly where your upper and lower teeth are hitting. A healthy bite would have both teeth meeting equal contact. Using this assessment, your oral surgeon will begin to smooth the problem areas of your teeth with a dental polisher. This process will be repeated several times until the bite is in a good position. 

It’s not uncommon for an occlusal adjustment to be done in conjunction with other cosmetic alignment procedures, such as Invisalign or braces. These methods of cosmetic dentistry are meant to specifically target the look and straightening of your teeth. If your irregular bite has caused other problems, such as TMJ or chipped teeth, the team at Union City Oral Surgery Group is here to help. 

Recovery and Benefits

The recovery for occlusal adjustments is fairly short, as the procedure is non-surgical and does not require a local anesthetic. Depending on the severity of your misalignment, your oral surgeon may give you tips on how to treat any discomfort or pain after the procedure. The benefits of a bite adjustment can be noticed immediately. 

When your occlusal adjustment removes all of your former interferences, such as previously-done dental work or crooked teeth, you will be left with a healthy bite. This prevents you from continuing to wear away at the natural enamel over time, which can leave you vulnerable to pain and infection. A bite adjustment is a great way to prevent the need for more restorative work in the future and only takes a few minutes.


Whether you are actively unsatisfied with the look of your bite or it is causing you repeated discomfort, an occlusal adjustment is likely the procedure for you. When looking for an oral surgeon you can trust in Union City, look no further than Union City Oral Surgery Group. Our team of dedicated and highly-trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons is proud to offer access to our state-of-the-art facility and minimally-invasive surgical techniques.

To get an idea of what our people-first approach to restorative oral surgery looks like today, give our Union City, New Jersey office a call at (201) 601-9262 or fill out our contact form. We will be here to support you every step of the way.

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