A malocclusion is a dental term for a bite problem. Everyone has some degree of malocclusion. Malocclusion literally means “bad bite”. However, significant malocclusions can contribute to mouth breathing and interfere with speaking and eating. Certain foods our bodies need daily will be difficult eat and chew until bite issues are addressed.
A poor bite will cause teeth and enamel to wear prematurely. Additionally, malocclusions can affect the overall appearance of your face. Malocclusions are the most frequent reason for braces or orthodontic treatment.
Problems crop up when an overbite, under bite or misaligned teeth are allowed to linger. Often the phrase” if it’s not broke don’t fix it” comes to mind. Unfortunately, this type of thinking can successfully lead people down a path that could have easily been avoided.
Malocclusions need to be taken care of. Correcting a malocclusion (bad bite) can result in better oral health because crooked and crowded teeth can make daily oral hygiene difficult. Over time, this may lead to tooth decay, gingival (gum) disease and possibly tooth loss. An improper bite can interfere with chewing and speaking.
Overbite: What people commonly refer to as an “overbite” is known to dental professionals as “overjet.” It occurs when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. It’s typically caused by genetics, bad oral habits, or overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth. This can lead to gum problems or irritation, and/or wear on the. lower teeth, and can cause painful jaw and joint problems.
Teeth Protrusion: Teeth that protrude too far forward and outside your dental arch will affect both your appearance and the function of your bite. Braces can be used to correct this condition.
Crossbite: This can occur in a variety of ways, but is best described by your top and bottom teeth being misaligned from side-to-side such that your upper teeth bite inside, rather than outside, of your bottom teeth. This can occur with just one, a few, or all of the teeth. Individuals with a crossbite will often incorrectly posture their bites to be more comfortable in an effort to compensate for this issue.
Crowding: This typically occurs in individuals who have large teeth, a smaller jaw structure, or a combination of these conditions. This results in there being inadequate room in the mouth for all of your teeth to fit with proper alignment.
Spacing: This typically occurs in individuals who have small teeth, larger jaw structures, or a combination of these conditions. It can also result from other conditions such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking , abnormal swallowing habits or previously extracted teeth. Spacing is characterized by gaps between some or all of your teeth.
Once a diagnosis is made, your orthodontist can decide the best treatment for your teeth or misaligned bite. For some people, a removable retainer (to stabilize the new position of teeth) will be all that’s needed to correct the problem. Removal of one or more teeth may be required if overcrowding is the main problem. For most people braces are necessary to correct the problem. In rare and extreme cases, such as an extreme overbite or underbite, an operation may be necessary.
Improper bite alignment also known as Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems can cause pain as well as deterioration of teeth and supporting structures. Dr. Sonia Rocha has great knowledge of bite problems and TMJ-related issues and can provide contemporary therapies to alleviate discomfort and restore optimal function. Customized TMJ Therapy can restore comfortable function.
TMJ problems are all unique, a “one size fits all” approach won’t work for all patients. Dr. Rocha will work with you to find the best custom solution to your unique problem whether it’s as simple as recommending changes in lifestyle or surgically correcting bite alignment issues.
When your teeth don’t fit together properly and or the two small joints in front of your ears TMJ joints don’t function smoothly pain and pressure results. You may experience migraine headaches or unexplained facial, neck, shoulder, or jaw pain. Tooth wear, teeth grinding, tingling extremities, and chronic earaches are also on the long list of common problems caused my TMJ disorder.
When your teeth are crooked and crowded they are difficult to clean which can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss and gum disease. A bad bite also leads to uneven wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing and speaking, added stress on supporting bone and gum tissue and jaw joint problems.
On the emotional side, an unattractive smile can reduce confidence and self-esteem. Left untreated a child or adult may go through life with a hand covering their mouth or never smiling.
If left untreated a bad bite may lead to more costly dental treatments in later years. Call and set up your consultation today.
Tower Dental Arts is a state of the art dental facility with two locations one in Bonita Springs, Fl. the second location is in Naples Fl. They offers court the very best in modern day cosmetic, restorative & preventative dental care for your entire family, utilizing the latest technology and safest materials and procedures available.
Serving the Southwest Florida area for over 20 years, Dr. Rocha specializes in creating beautiful, impacting smiles with a gentle and caring touch.
Dr. Sonia Rocha
11121 Health Park Blvd.. Suite 200