Understanding VDO Loss (Bite Collapse)
VDO loss, more commonly known as "bite collapse" is a condition that is thought to be caused by excessive grinding of the teeth, but VDO loss also appears in patients who do not grind their teeth. The loss in vertical dimension of occlusion occurs when a patient loses vertical height between the maxilla (upper jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw) when the cusps of the teeth are resting against one another.
Those concerned about VDO loss in Miami can contact CG Smile for a comprehensive smile exam.
How Does VDO Loss Occur?
There are two ways VDO loss is thought to occur: chronic grinding of the teeth (bruxism) and tooth loss. In cases where tooth loss is to blame for loss of vertical dimension of occlusion, the teeth and supporting alveolar structure essentially begin to cave in under the pressure that is placed on the remaining teeth.
VDO loss can occur due to a variety of factors, such as excessive teeth grinding (bruxism), tooth loss, and tooth decay.
Can VDO Loss Be Treated?
Absolutely. There are several treatments options available for those who are looking to restore a proper bite. Some treatments options include:
- Overlay removable partial dentures (ORPDs)
- Fixed prostheses
- Dental implants
What are the Symptoms of VDO Loss?
VDO is an acronym for "vertical dimension of occlusion." The condition is also sometimes referred to as “occlusal vertical dimension” or “OVD.” What VDO loss means is that teeth begin to rotate off their vertical axes and turn more inward as the condition worsens. The result of this condition is a collapsed bite and opposing biting surfaces that no longer meet.
A common visual indicator that a patient has VDO loss is that their lower face appears to scrunched or collapsed. Also, the chin may appear disproportionately close to the chin, giving their mouth a puckered appearance.
The "Emma Test”
One trick dentists and physicians use to determine a patient's correct vertical dimension of occlusion is to have them pronounce the name "Emma." The position of the patient's bite directly after saying the name will indicate their VDR (vertical dimension at rest).
Bruxism Can Lead to TMJ
If you are experiencing a loss of VDO due to grinding your teeth, another condition you should be aware of is "TMJ," known medically as temporomandibular joint disorder.
TMJ is a disorder of the jaw than can lead to frequent headaches, lockjaw, muscle spasms, difficulty chewing, and painful sensations in the ears, jaw, mouth, and face.
Just as a loss in vertical dimension of occlusion can occur, so too can there be an excessive increase in VDO. Individuals with excessive VDO may have difficulty closing their mouth completely, and when they do, the lips often appear pursed, as if they are holding an object in their mouth.
Excessive VDO is caused by the alveolar bones (the bone tissue that supports the teeth) growing excessively. This can happen due to excessive wear of the teeth, where the alveolar bone attempts to compensate for a loss in tooth height by erupting the tooth further.
Ask the Dentist
Are you concerned about a loss of vertical dimension of occlusion? Schedule a consultation with CG Smile in Miami. Together, we can help you to reclaim your smile and reverse the signs of premature aging.
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