The teeth are naturally designed to meet in a certain way to allow you eat and speak properly. When the bite deviates from its original path, there can be a lot of dental issues and difficulties when chewing. Unluckily, most people do not realize that their bite is misaligned until they are faced with a host of dental and other health problems. Understanding the causes and effects of a misaligned bite and how to take a simple test at home can help you diagnose this issue early and have it treated by your oral or cosmetic dentist.
What causes a misaligned bite?
Various factors are responsible for causing bite misalignment in individuals. Some people inheritly certain genetic traits which cause them to have crooked teeth, underbites, and overbites. All these dental problems affect the way the teeth approach each other when eating or even while resting. Another common cause is improper fitting of dental restorations such as amalgam fillings and crowns. When the restorations set higher than the enamel of other teeth, it will affect the contact between the lower and upper jaw.
Factors such as dental trauma or injury and oral tumors can also cause a misaligned bite. However, if you visit the dentist for treatment, they will likely notice the bad bite and recommend a suitable treatment plan for the bite and injury or tumor.
What problems come with misaligned bites?
A misaligned bite may seem like a cosmetic dentistry issue that shouldn't be prioritized as are problems like gum disease and tooth decay. However, besides affecting your smile, a bad bite can lead to a host of other problems. It strains the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of experiencing jaw tension, facial pain, headaches, and even breaking your tooth. If you are experiencing any of these problems and suspect that you have a bad bite, it may be time to carry out a test and ascertain your assumptions.
How can you test for a misaligned bite?
The easiest way to find out if you have a misaligned bite at home is through the clench test. With an empty mouth, bite down to bring the lower and upper jaws in contact and squeeze your teeth together. Do the teeth fit together or are there some that make no contact? Do you feel any pain or sensitivity in some teeth as a result of the bite? If there is pain or teeth that don't make natural contact, you could be having a misaligned bite. The next step should be to visit a dentist for a professional diagnosis.
Call a dentist and schedule an appointment so that they can carry out a test and recommend a suitable treatment plan based on the degree of misalignment in your bite.Share
21 March 2017
As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.