If you’ve ever struggled with jaw pain, then you know just how important jaw health can be.
A misaligned bite can create stress on your jaw muscles, wear on your teeth, and generally make your dental health a huge challenge! Instead of just living with it, there are options to take care of it!
At Pioneer Orthodontics, Dr. Cserna has helped many patients achieve aligned bites that create healthier and happier smiles. We want you to be next on our list of satisfied patients, but before we get too eager, let us share some helpful info with you. Take a minute to read more about what causes bite issues, what impact they can have, and how to take care of them with orthodontic interventions!
What Causes Bite Problems?
There are a few known causes of bite issues, including genetics, facial development, or injury to the bones of the face. Other causes are from what we call myofunctional habits that some people develop as infants–bottle feeding, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. These behaviors can affect bone growth in children, and result in misaligned bites.
What Do We Mean by Bite Problems?
Bite issues are usually as unique to the individual person, which means there are a few different types and they will look different in each person’s mouth.
When the upper teeth stick out farther than the lower teeth.
When the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth when you bite.
When the lower jaw is longer than the size and length of the upper jaw.
When there is not enough space along the jaw for all of your teeth, causing them to crowd together.
Misplaced Midline Bite
When the center of your upper teeth does not match the center of your lower teeth.
When the upper and lower teeth do not connect when you bite down.
What Problems Can Bite Issues Cause?
Now that you understand what the most common bite issues are, it’s time to get into the details of how problems with your bite might impact your life.
Jaw and Facial Pain
Pain is a serious issue when it comes to your bite. TMJ pain usually happens when undue stress is put on the muscles of the jaw and they become inflamed and sore. TMJ issues once they begin can sometimes be difficult to solve if they are left untreated for a long time, even radiating down to the neck and shoulders. This pain can greatly impact someone’s quality of life since it makes eating, drinking, chewing, and talking more difficult.
When a bite is misaligned, it can sometimes make it difficult for you to move your mouth and tongue effectively to produce sounds, causing lisping and other speech impediments.
Wearing Down Teeth
If your teeth are consistently clashing with each other as you chew, you may find that the enamel on your teeth becomes worn down over time. This might not immediately be a problem, but people tend to slowly develop issues, from tooth sensitivity and pain, to decay and cavities, and sometimes even tooth loss in the worst cases!
Chewing is an important part of eating and enjoying food, but it’s also essential for good digestion and overall physical health. If your chewing is impaired due to a bite problem that can mean you are swallowing larger chunks of food that can become a choking hazard. It can also lead to poor digestion since your stomach is having to break down larger pieces of food.
Chewing encourages saliva production, which also helps break down food and make it easier to digest. Overall, when you aren’t able to chew well, it can lead to large particles of food slowing dowing the digestive process, creating indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, and more!
Your jaw alignment is closely tied to your nasal passages, and a misaligned jaw can mean narrowed passages. This makes breathing from your nose more difficult and encourages mouth breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea.
Treatment for Jaw Problems
Thankfully, despite the possible impacts of bite issues, there are a few reliable solutions that Dr. Cserna can use to treat your jaw health at Pioneer Orthodontics!
Braces are almost always the go-to method when it comes to serious jaw treatment since they are so strong and effective at shifting teeth and bone. In the case of jaw issues, braces are your best bet for getting a straight and healthy smile.
Clear braces offer the same treatment as metal braces but in a more discreet form. Made from ceramic, these tooth-colored brackets and wires are still effective at shifting your jaw and teeth into alignment, but can usually take a bit longer since they are not made from metal. They also need to be diligently cleaned and cared for to prevent staining, but if you are ready for the responsibility, then you can enjoy this nearly-invisible option!
Palatal expanders are orthodontic devices that are not visible because they sit on the roof of your mouth and help to create more space between the upper jaw. This is a simple solution for people that are needing more room in that part of their mouth, and they pair effectively with braces!
It’s Time for A Healthy Bite
If you are ready to have a healthy bite that helps you stay strong and well as you age, then the time is now to consider orthodontics! The best option is to reach out to our offices in Lincoln or York to schedule a free consultation appointment where you will learn all your options and start making a treatment plan, all at no cost to you. Give us a call today to get started!