Most people can easily recognize problems with their teeth that they can see or feel, but a lot of people cannot recognize problems caused by a bad bite. A bad bite, also called a malocclusion, is something that affects a lot of people, and it is a problem that can lead to a variety of issues in a person's mouth. Here are several things to understand about bad bites and the problems they cause.
Types of Bad Bites
A bad bite is not limited to just one particular issue. Instead, there are several different types of bites that dentists consider bad. Here are some of these:
- Crossbite – A crossbite occurs when some upper teeth are further inside than some lower teeth, but not all the teeth.
- Overbite – An overbite is when the upper teeth project too far in front of the lower teeth when the jaw is closed.
- Underbite – An underbite refers to a situation where the lower teeth extend in front of the upper teeth when the jaw is closed.
The bite you have refers to the way your upper and lower teeth fit together when you close your jaw. If your bite is normal, your teeth should align together without rubbing in certain spots, and your upper teeth should be located just in front of your lower teeth. If you are not sure if you have a bad bite, ask your dentist. It is your dentist that usually diagnoses a bad bite first, and your dentist can help you learn about the negative effects a bad bite can have on your oral health.
Problems You Could Encounter
When you have a bad bite of any kind, numerous problems can develop. The first issue you might experience is excessive decay or loss of tooth structure. A bad bite often causes teeth to rub together too much and too frequently. The result of this is grinding of teeth, which leads to enamel erosion. Enamel erosion weakens teeth and increases the risk of cavities forming.
In some cases, the risk of cavities increases from a bad bite due to overcrowding. If teeth are not aligned properly and are overcrowded, it might be very difficult to keep the teeth clean. This increases the risk of cavities forming.
The friction of teeth rubbing together in ways they are not designed to also increases the risk of breaking teeth. With too much pressure on one or two teeth, those teeth could crack or break, leaving you with a big problem on your hands.
A bad bite will also lead to jaw pain for a lot of people, and this occurs from the added tension and pressure placed on the jaw when teeth are misaligned. Living with a bad bite can also present problems with the way you eat or speak. Misaligned jaws can occur for hereditary reasons or habits, but they are not something you should ignore.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Bad Bites
If you suspect you have a bad bite, you could ask your dentist to examine your mouth. Your dentist can diagnose the problem by looking carefully at your teeth and the way they fit together when you close your upper and lower jaws. If there is a problem with your bite, your dentist will be able to spot it and tell you what it is. In most cases, the best form of treatment for a bad bite is braces, but the treatment you need will depend on the type of problem you have and the severity of the problem. You can learn more about your bite by visiting a local dentist.