When your mouth is closed, do your teeth line up properly? When the upper and lower sets of teeth do not fit together, it is referred to as a “malocclusion”. One objective in orthodontics is to help patients achieve a healthy bite. When teeth don’t line up properly, patients are at risk for TMJ dysfunction, excessive tooth wear, and cracked teeth. Fortunately, our orthodontist can correct many malocclusions with braces.
How an Unhealthy Bite Affects Your Oral Health
A malocclusion can present a number of oral health problems. Some types of bite issues can strain the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and surrounding tissues, which can lead to facial pain and headaches. When this joint is strained by an improper bite, patients may develop TMJ disorder, which can lead to difficulty opening and closing the mouth. Misaligned bites also lead to tooth wear because the teeth tend to scrape against one another unnecessarily. Over time, worn down teeth require restorations such as crowns.
Types of Malocclusions Include:
Underbites – An underbite means that the lower jaw protrudes or overextends and causes the lower set of teeth to overlap the top set of teeth.
Overbites – A protruding upper jaw causes this type of bite issue. This causes the upper set of teeth to overextend the bottom set of teeth.
Open Bites – This malocclusion means that the teeth touch very little or not at all when the mouth is at rest. This type of bite can present problems with proper chewing.
How Orthodontics Can Align Bite Issues
Using orthodontic appliances such as braces, our orthodontist can improve misaligned bites—especially among younger patients. When children undergo tooth transition (the time when permanent teeth replace baby teeth), our orthodontist often encourages the commencement of orthodontic treatment. During this time, the jawbone is still developing, which makes improving bite issues much easier.
To learn more about your treatment options for bite issues, call 210-921-9191 to reserve an appointment with our skilled and dedicated team.