When it comes to orthodontic issues, your bite is probably the last thing you’re worried about. However, an improper bite can wind up causing major issues later on down the road. If you suffer from frequent headaches or TMJ, a poor bite may be the root cause of your pain. San Diego Orthodontist, Dr. William Thomas and the team at Poway Braces has the experience needed to examine your bite and determine how it’s impacting your life. Contact us today at (858) 748-6200 to set up an appointment.
What Causes a Poor Bite?
A poor bite can be caused by a number of things. In some cases, a person’s mouth is too small to comfortably fit all of their teeth, so shifting occurs to make some room. In other cases, the upper and lower jaw may be of unequal size, which causes an overbite or an underbite. An overbite occurs when the upper jaw protrudes forward, while an underbite occurs when the lower jaw protrudes forward. Genetics may also play a role in your bite. Crooked teeth, underbites and overbites are all physical features that can be inherited from your parents or past generations. Other factors that may affect your bite include:
- Jaw injuries
- Uneven fillings or crowns
- Tooth loss
- Periodontal disease
- Extensive thumb-sucking
- Tongue thrusting
For some, bite issues develop early in life during the growth period. Children who breathe through their mouths, for example, may have jaw development issues that affect the bite.
Signs of an Improper Bite
In most cases, orthodontists can determine whether or not bite correction is needed by simply looking at your teeth. They also look for face abnormalities and how the teeth line up to make a proper diagnosis. X-Rays or impressions may be necessary to give the orthodontist a clear picture of the patient’s bite. Other common signs of an improper bite include:
- Tension headaches
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Teeth grinding, or Bruxing
Why Bite Correction is Important
Overbites, underbites and misaligned teeth can lead to much bigger problems if they are left untreated. Some of the side effects of an improper bite include:
- Frequent and recurring headaches.
- Improper chewing that eventually causes uneven wear of tooth enamel or jawbone deterioration.
- TMJ from upper or lower jaw strain.
- Speech impediments.
- Issues keeping teeth clean, which can lead to periodontal disease.
- Low self-esteem caused by misaligned or crooked teeth.
Bite corrections should be addressed as early as possible. Parents should keep a close eye on their children’s teeth, and bring them to a San Diego orthodontist by the age of six or seven. An orthodontist can help catch any bite issues early on and correct them before the jaw is finished growing. Otherwise, a fully developed jaw will require jaw surgery to correct the bite. For more information, contact the San Diego orthodontic office of Poway Braces today.