How Do I Know My Bite Is Not Correct?

People with malocclusions, or problems with their bites, may wonder if they can get by without fixing their bite problems. If you have a mild malocclusion, you may be able to leave it alone. If you have a serious malocclusion, you will need to get it treated. Malocclusions can cause problems for both your dental health and your overall health.

What Does a Malocclusion Look Like?

There are three general types of malocclusions. Overbites are the most common type of malocclusion. If you have an overbite, your top jaw may extend too far over your lower jaw.

You may also have an underbite, which means your bottom teeth rest in front of your top teeth when you bite down. People with crossbites have teeth that don’t line up correctly when they bite down.

Why You Need To Have Malocclusions Treated

Mild malocclusion usually doesn’t need treatment. For example, people with a mild overbite generally don’t need to have it treated. However, if you have severe malocclusion, such as an open crossbite, you need to get treatment. If you leave your malocclusion untreated, you may face years of jaw pain and issues with your jaw joint. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) can cause a lot of pain, headaches, ear problems, and even difficulty opening or closing your mouth.

Also, people with severe malocclusions may not be able to clean their teeth and gums properly, which can lead to both tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay and gum disease can cause tooth loss, infections, abscesses, and other physical problems such as heart disease, trouble with regulating sugar, and dementia. If you suspect you may have bite issues, your best move is to make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist and have your teeth looked at by a trained dental professional. The sooner you have your malocclusion treated, the better your dental health–and overall physical health–will be.