When your bite is not properly aligned, it can lead to problems with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). This can lead to a variety of symptoms including severe headaches, ear pain, dizziness, and more. There are three different types of malocclusions of the TMJ: an underbite, an overbite, and a crossbite. An underbite occurs when the lower teeth project beyond the upper teeth. An overbite occurs when the upper teeth severely overlap the lower teeth. A crossbite occurs when there is a lateral misalignment of the upper and lower arches of the teeth. Each of these types of malocclusions can cause serious dental health issues.
In addition to TMJ Disorders, a misaligned bite can also cause excess wear on your teeth, ultimately leading to tooth breakage and failure. And, when teeth are not properly aligned, they can be harder to clean. This leaves room for bacteria to get in and cause problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.
You may be wondering about what to do if you have a bite problem. The first step is to visit your dentist for a bite evaluation. In most cases, your dentist will perform a dental exam and will also use dental x-rays to evaluate your bite.
If you are diagnosed with a malocclusion or misaligned bite, there are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat the problem. Available treatments for bite problems include night guards, tooth reshaping, orthodontics (braces and retainers), and tooth replacement or reconstruction. Your dentist can recommend the best treatment based on your particular symptoms.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, ear pain or chronic headaches, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. If you have noticed undo wear and tear on the surfaces of your teeth where the teeth of the upper and lower arch meet, this could also be a sign of a malocclusion or bite problem. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today so he or she can correctly diagnose and treat the problem to improve your quality of life and protect your long-term dental health.