Did you know that a bad bite could seriously impact your oral health? Here’s a quick guide on how and what you can do to treat it!
by Dr. Satish Pai | Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League-trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile makes a person look great and feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about orthodontics, the importance of correctly aligned teeth, and good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.
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Are your teeth not aligned the way they should be? If yes, then you are suffering from a bad bite. A misalignment of the teeth is also called a malocclusion. On top of misaligned teeth, you can also have jaw malocclusion. These conditions can occur when the upper and lower jaws are not the same size when there is crowding of the teeth, or teeth not coming in contact normally.
Causes of A Bad Bite (Malocclusion) & its Types
The most widespread malocclusion causes include genetics, excessive thumb sucking or use of pacifiers in early childhood, and poorly fitted crowns.
There are different types of jaw and teeth malocclusion which can cause problems with chewing and speaking. The most common of them are underbite, overbite, and crossbite. A dentist or orthodontist can diagnose the type and severity of your bad bite and do the required malocclusion treatment.
6 Ways Malocclusion Negatively Affects Your Oral Health
Apart from causing pain and discomfort in your daily life, there are oral health issues you or your kids may face if you don’t treat malocclusion on time:
- Increased Risk of Tooth Decay & Gum Disease
If your teeth are not properly aligned, it can lead to increased plaque build-up and a greater risk of both tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, poorly aligned teeth have areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Hence, they are difficult to clean, which contributes to these problems and overall poor oral hygiene.
- Biting and Chewing Issues
Malocclusion can also lead to pain and discomfort with biting and chewing. This is because the teeth are not able to come together in the correct way, which can make it difficult to bite and chew food correctly. Additionally, the swallowing of improperly chewed food can also cause digestive issues.
- Worn Enamel
Enamel is the outer protective layer of your teeth. Another problem associated with the malocclusion of teeth is worn enamel. This dreaded condition puts unnecessary stress on your enamel, causing it to wear down prematurely. It all adds up to sensitive teeth, as well as an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Occlusion Confusion
Another problem that can be caused by all types of malocclusions is occlusion confusion. This occurs when the teeth are not properly aligned, which can cause the brain to have trouble processing information about biting and chewing. This can lead to confusion with eating and speaking.
- Health Issues Related to Jaw Muscles
Misaligned teeth and jaw can put a strain on the muscles in your jaw. This can lead to several problems, including headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, earache, and even TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).
- Speech Difficulties
Sever bad bite cause problems with your speech. This is because the teeth play an instrumental role in the production of speech sounds. When they are misaligned, it can interfere with the production of certain sounds, which can make them difficult to be understood by others.
How to Fix Your Bad Bite?
If your malocclusion is minor, no intervention is necessary at all. Your dentist may suggest bite correction treatment if the discrepancy is more severe, though. To create a normal bite, a number of effective treatment modalities are available.
Braces or clear aligners are the most popular treatments for a misaligned bite. Orthodontics is quite good at straightening and aligning teeth. Additionally, they can be utilized to close gaps and enhance your general oral health.
Your orthodontist may advise the removal of some teeth if overcrowding is the basis of your misalignment. This is typically done in the case of young children before the eruption of all adult teeth.
A misalignment can occasionally be fixed by capping, reshaping, or bonding teeth. Rarely, the jaw may need to be surgically shortened or reshaped.
Seek Medical Assistance
Malocclusion can negatively affect your oral health in many ways. So if you or your child is suffering from a bad bite and any of the health problems mentioned here, it’s important to seek treatment from an orthodontist.
Orthodontic treatment can help to correct the alignment of the teeth and jaw, which can alleviate the problems associated with malocclusion.