Having a great bite isn't just a necessary component of a great smile. It's also an important part of having good oral health and good overall health. Whether you're considering braces, jaw surgery or some other accommodation for a misaligned bite, it's important to know the benefits you can obtain from bite improvement. Here are three reasons that improving your bite can help your health.
1. Temporomandibular joint problems
Your temporomandibular joint is pretty adaptable, but it can also succumb to too much strain, causing pain and limited jaw movement. This type of injury is known as a temporomandibular joint disorder, and it can be caused by additional stress your joints might experience if your bite doesn't close straight.
Adjusting your bite can help prevent a disorder from occurring, and in some cases can even help the joint heal if you already have this problem. Talk to your dentist about whether this solution is for you.
Bruxism involves grinding your teeth involuntarily at night. Some signs you may have this problem include:
- Tight jaw in the morning, difficulty opening mouth
- Soreness in the jaw muscles in the morning
- Having a headache when you wake up
- Quickly wearing enamel on chewing surfaces (your dentist may notice this first)
- Craze lines on your teeth (these are basically hairline surface cracks)
- Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth
It's quite possible that a high-stress job or even an anxiety problem or a stress-inducing family situation could cause your bruxism. However, it can also be caused or worsened by a bite that doesn't meet correctly. If your dentist determines this is the case with you, then correcting your bite could solve or considerably improve this problem.
3. Cavities and gum disease
Bruxism, which can be caused by a maladjusted bite, can in turn cause your gums to recede. This can cause portions of your teeth that don't have protective enamel to become exposed, which makes you more likely to develop cavities along the gumline.
But even if you don't grind your teeth, a poorly aligned bite can wear down your teeth unevenly, making some of them disproportionately susceptible to decay. And if your poor bite is caused by overcrowding or by teeth overlapping one another, that can make it more difficult to follow standard hygiene practices and keep your teeth free of plaque, which in turn can mean you're more prone to not only cavities but also gum disease.
These are just three reasons that improving your bite can improve your health. As you can see, keeping your teeth and jaws in good working order requires having a bite that matches up well. If you suspect yours needs correction, talk to your cosmetic dentistry professional about the best way to get it back to normal.