Everyone’s teeth and mouths are unique, and so are their bites. While smiles and bites vary from person to person, there are a few common elements when discussing proper bites.
To understand what makes a good or perfect bite, one must understand what makes up a person’s bite. It is a trinity – the bite is made up by the fit of the teeth, the position and movement of the jaw joints (TMJ’s) and the relaxed/balanced harmony of the muscles that move the jaw. More simply put – the trinity is the teeth, the jaw joints, and the muscles of mastication.
A perfect bite there is determined as one where the bottom teeth are aligned with the top teeth, in a position where the jaw joints are correctly aligned, and the muscles that move them are not in a state of torque or spasm.
This is very important as the vast majority of people only consider the teeth and their alignment when evaluating a bite.
A proper bite is represented by more than just straight teeth, and its importance is more than just aesthetic. An improper bite can lead to issues with chewing and therefore digestion, speech, and other aspects of your oral health.
Those with misaligned bites are often more prone to bacteria and plaque buildup due to improper spacing between the teeth, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even heart disease. As well, teeth that are shifting or misplaced are more likely to become cracked or broken which can lead to further issues.
A dramatic difference after only 10 months of orthodontics
Depending on the cause of the misaligned bite, it may also cause pain, stiffness or headaches, and even difficulty breathing.
Your bite must be considered from a few different angles in order to determine whether or not it is aligned. Here are a few things to look out for:
Do your top teeth line up nicely with the bottom of your upper lip? Watch out for whether there is too much gum exposed, or if your teeth are mostly hidden.
When you close your teeth together, you want the upper teeth to only hide approximately 2 mm or 1/3 of your lower front teeth. Too much coverage is bad and so is no coverage – or an open dental bite.
When you close your teeth together, do the bottom ones line up nicely with the top ones? If they appear to be crooked, or are outside of the top teeth, you may suffer from a crossbite.
Crooked teeth and crowded teeth are also signs of a misaligned bite, but it is important to note that having straight teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that your bite is correct.
Some other symptoms of a misaligned bite include pain or discomfort when chewing or talking, headaches or facial pain, jaw aches and tooth sensitivity.
If you are concerned about your bite, the best thing to do is speak to your dentist.
Depending on the nature of the misaligned bite, there are several possible solutions. Often, orthodontics are used, including dental braces or retainers.
Orthodontics can be utilized as an interceptive measure for children and teenagers, or as a solution for adults. With the advancements of invisible braces and clear braces, such as Invisalign, orthodontics are becoming more and more appealing for people of all ages.
At Kelowna Dental Solutions, we offer individualized orthodontic care for our patients. We assess each patient’s bite carefully and explain the possible solutions so that they have the tools and knowledge they need to make the best choice for themselves.
Kelowna Dental Solutions is currently accepting new patients. If you are searching for orthodontic care in Kelowna, contact us — we would be happy to help you with your oral health!
This article is part of our orthodontics series. Find more helpful information about orthodontics below:
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