Did you know that you can have a beautiful set of teeth but still have a bad bite? When your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly, it is deemed as malocclusion – otherwise known as a “bad bite.” While bad bites aren’t always noticeable when you smile, most patients feel the ramifications on a daily basis. Malocclusion can create eating and speaking challenges as well as cause discomfort within the jaw.
How can you tell if your bite is good or bad?
If you suspect that your bite might be misaligned, you may experience the following:
- Difficulties Speaking: a misaligned bite can include teeth that are obstructing the normal movement of your tongue, which can lead to pronunciation challenges or a lisp.
- Difficulty Chewing or Biting: when the teeth don’t come together in a proper manner upon biting down, it can make chewing your food both ineffective and uncomfortable.
- Difficulty Brushing: when teeth are not evenly spaced and aligned, it can be hard to get your toothbrush and floss on all surfaces and crevices of your smile. Cleaning challenges can mean future oral health problems.
- Grinding / Clenching: bruxism can be a result of your jaw’s constant attempt to find alignment and balance when a bite is uneven. Eventually you may experience signs of TMD(Temporomandibular joint disorder), such as headaches, jaw pain, ear pain and jaw popping/stiffness.
Perform a Clench Test
If you are still unsure as to whether your bite is “good” or “bad,” you can give yourself the clench test. Bite down naturally and firmly. Now ask yourself the following questions:
- Do my teeth feel comfortable when I bite? Is there sensitivity on certain teeth?
- Is there contact between some teeth but not others?
- Are my bottom front teeth pushing excessively on my front top teeth?
Ask Your Dentist for Help
The easiest way to know if your bite needs correction is to visit your dentist. Some patients have a subtle or slight misalignment that may have developed over time or after orthodontic treatment at an earlier age. Many patients, however, are happy to know that by fixing their bite, they can resolve many of their disruptive symptoms within their jaw.
Fixing your bad bite doesn’t always mean orthodontics. At Crabapple Dental, we can determine if your TMJ problems and bite issues can be resolved with our state-of-the-art K7 jaw tracking device from Myotronics. Custom orthotics made using the K7 Evaluation System provide an effective option for treating migraine headaches and other bad bite symptoms. Call Dr. Sarah Roberts today to learn more!