We know that bite problems can negatively affect the appearance of your smile but did you know that a malocclusion or misaligned bite can also cause a variety of dental health problems? It is more than just a cosmetic problem. When your bite is not properly aligned, it can lead to problems with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) which can lead to severe headaches, ear pain and more. A misaligned bite can also cause excess wear on your teeth, ultimately leading to tooth breakage and failure. In addition, when teeth are not properly aligned, they can be harder to clean. This leaves room for bacteria to get in and cause problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. So, what can be done about this serious problem?
There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat a malocclusion or misaligned bite including night guards, tooth reshaping, orthodontics (braces and retainers), and tooth replacement or reconstruction. The first step is to visit your dentist so that he or she can correctly diagnose the problem with your bite and then recommend the most appropriate treatment.
In most cases, your dentist will perform a physical evaluation of your teeth and will also use dental x-rays to evaluate your bite. An underbite occurs when the lower teeth project beyond the upper teeth. An overbite occurs when the upper teeth severely overlap the lower teeth. A crossbite occurs when there is a lateral misalignment of the upper and lower arches of the teeth. Each of these types of malocclusions can cause serious dental health issues.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, ear pain or chronic headaches, or, if you have noticed undo wear and tear on the surfaces of your teeth where the teeth of the upper and lower arch meet, you may have a malocclusion or bite problem. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today so he or she can correctly diagnose and treat the problem to protect your long-term dental health.
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