Common Symptoms That Could Mean Your Bite Is Misaligned | Saunders DDS
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    Common Symptoms That Could Mean Your Bite Is Misaligned

    by Saunders DDS on November 20, 2018

    There are several different types of misaligned bites, also called malocclusions. Malocclusions are responsible for a number of different dental health symptoms people may experience due to their teeth not aligning properly.

    People may have an underbite, an overbite, a crossbite, or an open bite. These types of malocclusions tend to be common, with most people experiencing one of them to some degree.

    While misaligned bites are often the result of genetics and lifestyle factors, accidents can also cause the jaw and teeth to shift, therefore creating a problematic bite.

    For some patients, it’s obvious when a malocclusion is present. For others, the signs are less noticeable. What are some common symptoms that could mean your bite isn’t aligned properly?

    You’re Having TMJ Symptoms

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint present on each side of your face that hinges your lower jaw to your skull. This joint plays an essential role in helping your jaw to have the necessary range of motion for chewing, speaking, and yawning. However, the TMJ is also subject to problems, especially if your bite is off.

    Symptoms of issues with your TMJ include pain when you move your jaw, stiffness and soreness, and clicking noises when opening and closing your mouth. TMJ issues present as different disorders, many of which are caused by a problem with your bite.

    Jaw pain could mean a variety of things so getting your symptoms evaluated is important. If your jaw is aching or hurting, it’s time to get an evaluation with your Asheville dentist. Understanding the root cause is essential to discovering your treatment options. There’s no reason to live with TMJ pain when your symptoms may have a definitive cause that can be treated!

    You Have Headaches

    While many issues can cause headaches, one of them is having a misaligned bite. You may suffer from the occasional tension headache or be experiencing migraines on a regular basis.

    When your bite is out of alignment, it’s possible for the muscles that move your jaw to become strained and tense. This tension can cause headaches that range from mild to severe and have the potential to impact your everyday life.

    If you experience headaches, don’t rule out your jaw as the culprit. A simple exam with your dentist in Asheville can tell if your head pain could be the result of your teeth simply not aligning.

    Sometimes You Have Trouble Speaking

    While not everyone who has a misaligned bite will see this symptom, some certainly will. You may have trouble pronouncing certain words due to stiffness in your jaw. For some patients, a malocclusion will give them a speech impairment that isn’t cognitive in nature—your jaw just isn’t working properly.

    Fortunately, for most patients, orthodontics or oral appliances can help their jaw get back into its proper position, effectively alleviating this issue.

    You Grind Your Teeth

    Teeth grinding is a serious issue that can have major consequences for your smile. If you grind your teeth, you may experience pain in your jaw as well as headaches, which could all be related to your malocclusion.

    Bruxism, the technical name for teeth grinding, is more likely in people whose bite just doesn’t fit right. The stress placed on the jaw due to the incorrect positioning of the teeth makes grinding more likely. Teeth grinding can also cause uneven wear on the teeth and tooth fractures, so getting treatment is essential.

    Your Teeth Are Difficult to Clean

    Crowded teeth can play a role in misaligned bites. For some people who have teeth that are crooked or crowded, these teeth may have been forced into these positions by an improper bite. If your teeth feel difficult to clean—or are impossible to floss in places—you might have a malocclusion that’s preventing your teeth from aligning properly.

    Your dentist in Asheville can tell if your crowded teeth are the result of a bite that needs to be corrected with orthodontics or other treatment in order for you to have a healthy, beautiful smile.

    Signs Your Dentist May Notice

    Other than the symptoms you’re experiencing, there may be signs that your dentist notices during your checkup that could point to a malocclusion.

    Your dentist’s trained eye can easily spot teeth that just don’t fit together properly, even if your smile looks fine. While some patients have severe overbites or underbites, others are less easy to tell. Your dentist, however, can usually spot these smiles and take x-rays to determine how off the bite actually is.

    Your dentist will also be able to tell if your teeth aren’t evenly wearing. During our lives as we chew, our teeth very slowly wear down. This kind of wear is normal as our teeth are designed to last a lifetime, so it typically doesn’t impact our smiles too much.

    However, if you have a misaligned bite, your teeth may be wearing down in odd places. Uneven wear of the teeth can cause enamel erosion and subsequent tooth sensitivity that may be painful. If your bite is found to be the cause of your tooth wear, correcting your bite can even out the problem.

    Treatment for Malocclusions

    Getting treatment for your misaligned bite will vary based on your unique smile, but you have many options today to correct teeth that aren’t in their proper positions and are causing symptoms such as jaw pain, bruxism, or headaches.

    For many patients, getting their teeth into the correct position to facilitate a healthy bite is possible with orthodontics. With so many options for braces today, you don’t have to be stuck with traditional metal braces. Invisalign and other incognito braces options can be effective at correcting a variety of bite problems.

    Your first step is a trip to your dentist in Asheville for a comprehensive exam and a referral. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you can discover if your bite needs orthodontics or if another therapy is needed to stop your discomfort and get you back to a healthy you!

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