Do your teeth feel like they don’t exactly fit together and your bite is misaligned? Perhaps you have difficulties speaking or even experience teeth grinding at night? You might have a misaligned bite. Often called by several names, such as malocclusion, crossbite, overbite, underbite, and open bite, it’s a condition that could cause discomfort and pain in your life.
Here are a few signs to watch out for if you suspect your bite might be misaligned.
An improperly fitting jaw might result in problems speaking, especially if the teeth obstruct the ability of your tongue to move correctly. This might lead to some people having problems enunciating words when they speak. Others might even develop a lisp which could cause self esteem issues while preventing clear enunciation of words.
Difficulty Chewing or Biting
Those who experience a bad bite are often placing unneeded pressure on their teeth each time they move their teeth. This is true for those who face advanced problems such as crossbites, overbites, underbites, and open bites since the teeth don’t come together properly. As a result, chewing during a meal can cause pain or discomfort.
Grinding / Clenching
An uneven bite can result in a tendency to grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. This comes as a result of your teeth being unable to fit together correctly. Your jaw muscles attempt to compensate for the lack of alignment and as a result grind against each other to fit together in a natural position.
An uneven bite can cause unneeded strain in the jaw muscles, which ultimately can lead to pain and discomfort. In some cases, this could even cause TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder) as a result of the jaw facing considerable pressure as a result of the misalignment. Some signs to look for include a clicking or pain when you open your mouth to speak, eat, or yawn.
Give Yourself the Clench Test
An easy way to test if you have a misaligned bite is by biting down as naturally as you can. Squeeze your teeth hard and note the following:
- Do your teeth feel like they fit together?
- Is there no contact between some teeth?
- Are your bottom front teeth pushing excessively on your front top teeth?
- Do you feel pain?
- Is there sensitivity when you bite down?
The clench test helps rule out other possible sources of tooth pain. While cavities and cracked teeth hurt, they often occur in a portion of the tooth and only when chewing food or being exposed to extreme temperatures. Clenching your teeth won’t cause this kind of pain, instead pointing to potential jaw misalignment.
Ask your dentist if you have any doubt
The easiest way to know if your bite could possibly be causing you any problems is to speak with your dentist. Some bites are misaligned in a subtle way, and many do not cause any problems at all. It is for this reason that you may have to bring it to your dentist’s attention instead of waiting for them to address it.
Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth has a way of testing for proper alignment of your teeth and whether or not this could cause you issues. These include X-rays or teeth impressions which allow an opportunity to decide the best treatment for you.
Aligned Teeth Are Just A Simple Step Away
Treatment for misaligned teeth or crooked teeth is simple and often includes the use of a retainer or braces for more advanced situations. There are some extreme cases where operation may be necessary, however, this is a rare occurrence.