Occlusion, or the way your upper and lower teeth fit together, is more important than many people realize. In fact, a proper bite ensures your teeth come together in a way that doesn’t cause damage to your jaw or tooth enamel. A bite is considered normal when all back teeth touch simultaneously at the long axis of the tooth and when the jaw is moved side to side back teeth don’t rub on each other. A “bad” bite could harm your mouth health. This can be the result of tooth loss, new dental work that is too high or low, or simply your family genetics.

Improper bite, or malocclusion, can cause a few issues. The major issues associated with “bad bite” are:

1. TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)

The jaw joint is called the Temporomandibular Joint, aka TMJ. It’s a term that people often associate with jaw pain. This is the most complex joint in the human body and a large percentage of people have some deterioration of this joint.  So while people commonly believe it is TMJ causing pain, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, (TMD) is the actual painful and frustrating problem. Pain in the jaw and facial muscles when biting down is the biggest complaint, but some people experience headaches as well. Misalignment and poor bite is often associated with TMD. Misalignment of the jaws can cause stress and pain throughout the muscles, joints and ligaments. Pain can be felt in the jaw on either side and can radiate through your ear, neck and even your shoulders. Many people notice a painful grinding and popping of their jaw joint as well. Joint noise is a sign of TMD.  Over time, this can harm the health of your mouth by leading to lasting and permanent damage.

2. Increased Risk of Wear, Sensitivity, Decay and Gum Issues

Teeth that come together with an improper bite are detrimental to mouth health and are at a higher risk for sensitivity and decay. As they continuously rub in incorrect spots, the dentin will begin to show through as enamel is rubbed away. The enamel is what protects the sensitive insides of your teeth, so as it is worn away, it leaves you susceptible to chipped, broken teeth or possibly tooth decay. This also leaves your gums susceptible to recession and bone loss around your teeth.

3. Cosmetic Issues

A bad bite can be visually noticeable. Crowding can cause crooked teeth, and your jaw can look recessed or protruded if your lower jaw isn’t properly aligned. The recession or protrusion can affect your facial profile, and it can even make your lips appear flatter or thinner than they are. Many people are more pleased with the aesthetic look of their features once the bite is corrected.

Conclusion: A Bad Bite Puts You at Risk for Many Dental Issues

Proper alignment is essential to tooth, gum and joint health. If you have a bad bite, know that there is treatment available to correct it and the issues it causes. If you would like to seek treatment, please Contact Us for a consultation.