Beyond a Beautiful Smile…Why Bite Correction is Important
When it comes to orthodontic issues, straightening crowded teeth to create a beautiful smile is Priority #1 for our orthodontic patients. The correction of bite problems tends to be lower on the priority list. However, a poor bite, also known as a malocclusion can cause significant problems in the future. Bite problems can include overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites.
A poor bite can be caused by a number of things: A person’s mouth may be too small to adequately fit all of their teeth, so shifting occurs to make room and crowding develops; the upper and lower jaws can grow at different rates causing a disharmony between the two, which can result in overbites and underbites. An overbite occurs when your top teeth over-close over your lower teeth whereas an underbite occurs when your top teeth bite behind your lower teeth. Apples and Trees…Genetics can also play a role in your bite, another thing you can thank your parents for! Other factors that can negatively affect your bite may include:
- Habits, such as finger or thumb sucking, tongue thrusting or mouth breathing
- Jaw injuries
- Tooth loss
If left untreated, a poor bite can lead to broken or cracked teeth, premature or uneven wear of tooth enamel, jaw joint (TMJ) problems, speech problems, chewing difficulties or increased difficulties maintaining good oral hygiene practices which can lead to gum problems. A poor bite can also lead to esthetic issues that can contribute to low self-esteem.
Bite correction should be addressed as early as possible to take advantage of growth and development and to prevent developing problems from becoming worse. Orthodontists are trained to detect and to correct bite problems early on. Once the jaws are fully developed, some conservative treatment options may not be available so some problems may have to be corrected surgically. If you have any concerns regarding your teeth or your children’s teeth or bite please contact our office for a complimentary consultation.