Your bite determines how well your teeth come together. Ideally, the teeth will sit atop each other and fit together exactly, although over-and-under bites are quite common. A small variation likely won’t be a problem, but if you have any of the signs below, it may be worth discussing bite correction with your dentist.
How to Know If Your Bite Is Misaligned
1. Speech Issues
Severely misaligned teeth can cause a variety of speech issues, including lisping or the inability to pronounce certain sounds. The malocclusion of the jaw can make it impossible for the person to speak correctly. A dentist, oral surgeon, or orthodontist may be able to help adjust the bite so that regular speech is possible.
2. TMJ Pain
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull and is present on both sides of the head. When the bite is misaligned, this can cause pain or restricted movement.
If you have a limited range of motion in the jaw, trouble chewing or eating, jaw pain, or clicking noises when you open the jaw, these TMJ issues may be caused by a misaligned bite. Depending on the severity of symptoms, you should talk to a dentist to determine the cause and seek possible treatment.
3. Difficulty With Ordinary Mouth Functions
If you have a hard time brushing, biting, or chewing because of crowded, crooked, or misaligned teeth, this may be a sign that the bite is out of alignment. Severe overbites, underbites, or crossbites can make everyday mouth function challenging, and teeth that are hard to clean are more prone to decay. Surgery or orthodontia may be able to help, and a dentist can extract teeth to ease overcrowding.
4. Grinding & Clenching
The body may be trying to compensate for misalignment by continually trying to bring the teeth together, which can cause grinding, clenching, subsequent jaw or neck pain, and headaches. Long-term grinding of the teeth can wear down the surfaces and potentially result in weakened or fractured teeth.
If you have issues with a misaligned bite or the signs above, see the dentists at Timber Drive Dental in Rhinelander, WI. They offer the Northwoods area general and preventative dentistry for the entire family, as well as cosmetic and restorative procedures. With over 20 years of service, they know how to make patients feel comfortable and cared for. Call (715) 365-1800 to make an appointment, and visit the website to see their full range of services.