PART 3: BAD BITE
Taking care of your teeth isn't about making the dentist happy. It's about your quality of life.
While there are many elements of good oral health, four issues stand out far above all others-issues that can cause extensive dental treatment or possibly cause you to lose your teeth altogether.
We discussed tooth decay in our first article in this Dental 101 series and gum disease in the second article, you can click the included links to read them if you missed them.
There are 4 important dental problems to watch out for, today we address a bad bite:
Did you ever have a filling that was high? Did it feel odd? Maybe it was slightly harder to chew on that side or maybe there was a little bit more tension in your jaw? Maybe it gave you a headache for a couple days? In this case, the "Bite" is said to be off and needs a further adjustment to get it exactly right. Well, in life due to an inherent poor alignment of the teeth or jaw one's whole bite could be bad- it's called a "Bad Bite."
Your "Bite" is how your teeth align with each other. Ideally, your teeth are designed to fit together perfectly like a key and a lock. When they don't, they are said to be out of alignment and things don't work together right. They begin to get pressured in ways they weren't designed for and stress fractures can develop. They can even begin to shift around in your mouth to compensate. You may even be aware of this from sharp pains or sensitivity when you bite or chew, or maybe tension in your jaw or even headaches. Your teeth can begin to look more and more crooked, or you may develop "erosion" around the base of the teeth from grinding. These stresses and tensions can also cause your teeth to chip... a bad bite is a near guarantee for dental problems later in life.
What is Occlusion?
The fix for a bad bite: It can be simple or complex depending on the severity of how bad the bite is. Fixed-Retainers, Invisalign, or even mouth guards may be needed. But know that any work done to correct your bite is a good investment as it prevents later more extensive dental treatment from the excessive wear and tear a bad bite can cause.