Malocclusion (Bad Bite) – How it can be fixed
It is ironic that one of the most common dental disorders is also the most neglected: malocclusion, or poorly aligned teeth. The way the teeth fit together when the jaw closes and chews is of profound importance to the long-term health of your teeth.
If the surfaces of the teeth interfere with how the jaw moves, the teeth can be worked loose or the enamel can be worn away. The muscles that move the jaw are very powerful and can do major damage to the teeth when the biting surfaces don’t fit together properly.
The problem can be compounded if teeth interfere with functional muscle patterns. When this occurs, the jaw muscles will attempt to “erase” the art of the tooth that interferes by grinding against it all the more. This can lead to even more severe wear. It may even crack off a cusp or split the tooth. It might also loosen the tooth and cause it to move out of alignment. Excessive muscle activity often results in pain in the muscle itself. In fact, many tension headaches are caused by sore temporal muscles in the jaw.
Excessive muscle activity may be caused by emotional stress. However, with some special exceptions, damage done by stress induced grinding and clenching may be minimized to a manageable level by equalizing the biting surfaces that are in conflict with jaw movements. Proper fitting of braces for teeth can solve the problem by gently moving the teeth into a more optimal position.
The power of the jaw may surprise you. In fact, some people can exert over 900 pounds of compressive force with their jaw muscles. As such, you can imagine how much damage such force can do when focused on a singe tooth. When such an event occurs, the tooth loosens as the root breaks down, causing a good deal of discomfort. If one of your teeth is noticeably receptive to movement, you can be assured that it will be a problem later on.
Sometimes the muscle forces the tooth sideways, causing bone around the root to build up and become stronger. This is called an abfraction. These deep grooves at the gum line are often mistaken for toothbrush abrasion. The condition can lead to significantly enhanced sensitivity in the affected teeth because of the nerves which have been exposed as a result. Correction of the bite with braces can either eliminate the sensitivity completely or reduce it to a much more acceptable level.
Over the years, there have been many misconceptions about the importance of a harmonious bite. A good deal of those mistaken beliefs have arisen from flawed research. However, knowledgeable clinicians can achieve excellent results with braces that will help make both your teeth and your jaw muscles more comfortable by bringing your whole bite into harmony. If you would like to find out more about malocclusion treatment in Sylvania & Swanton, contact us at 419-885-4796.