Problems with your bite, or the way your teeth and jaw fit together, can wreak havoc on your mouth. It can be painful, unattractive, and lead to other problems like tooth decay. A bad bite, or malocclusion, is one of the most common reasons that orthodontists fit patients with braces.
What does it mean to have a bad bite?
When your doctor says you have spacing or alignment problems, it’s likely that you have a bad bite. This includes crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth. A bad bite also includes having your upper and lower jaws meet improperly, even if your teeth look straight. Also, bite problems can be caused by teeth that are too close together or too far apart.
What causes bite problems?
The most common causes of bite problems are thumb-sucking, heredity, early tooth loss, and mouth trauma.
What are the benefits of correcting bad bites?
Braces can help with problems related to bite issues in a number of ways, including:
- Appearance – correcting a bad bite creates a more appealing smile, and therefore also improves your self-esteem.
- Tooth wear – an uneven bite can cause abnormal tooth wear, which sometimes leads to the need for crowns or veneers. Braces can correct this problem before your teeth have a chance to wear inappropriately.
- Jaw problems – a misaligned bite can lead to painful conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
- Teeth cleaning – it is difficult to clean crooked, crowded, protruding, and overlapping teeth. Properly aligned teeth can be more thoroughly cleaned, and therefore have less decay.