4 Oral Health Problems That Can Be Caused by a Misaligned Bite

Posted on: 9 November 2016

If you have a poorly aligned bite, you really need to see your dentist so they can prescribe a treatment method. Having a bite that is slightly off probably doesn't seem like it would be anything more than an inconvenience; unfortunately, this is not so. Here are just four problems associated with a misaligned bite.

1. Decay

Your mouth is designed to bring as many teeth together at once. If your bite is misaligned, you won't be able to do this; instead, full biting force will often come down on just a few of your teeth, meaning that the pressure is not evenly distributed. Your teeth just weren't designed to handle that sort of pressure, so the enamel across those tooth surfaces that do meet under such force will be worn away. Without this tough outer layer, your teeth are far more susceptible to decay. Additionally, teeth tend to crowd together when the bite is uneven, which makes it harder to floss and brush effectively.

2. Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Your temporomandibular joint (often shortened to TMJ), is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. If your jaw is misaligned, you need to move it around more while you chew and place uneven pressure on the jaw muscles, and it is not uncommon for the mouth to rest with teeth slightly apart due to the fact that no stable bite can be made. All of these issues will place additional pressure on the TMJ, which can lead to muscle pain whenever you need to clench or move your jaw; in extreme cases, surgery can even be required to correct the issue.

3. Sensitivity

Having sensitive teeth might not sound like a big deal, but it can turn your morning cup of coffee or a nice spoonful of ice cream into an ordeal rather than a treat. Because certain teeth will be wearing down more quickly than others if you have a poor bite, you're likely to notice that certain teeth become increasingly sensitive to hot and cold.

4. Bruxism

Bruxism, the medical term for tooth grinding, can increase your risk of decay, cavities, and TMJ issues. Unfortunately, it is often associated with a misaligned bite, which, as described above, can have similar effects. Because your teeth aren't coming down to meet each other, it's common to move them against each other in other to try and find a good bite. This frequent grinding can turn into habitual bruxism.