When considering what kinds of dental problems to look out for, many patients think about small-scale issues like cavities and chipped teeth. While these dental issues are undoubtedly important to address, they usually affect one or two teeth at a time. Our Toluca Lake dentists encourage you to be aware of larger-scale, structural dental issues as well: for example, bite misalignment. Today we’re going to be talking about the ways in which bite issues manifest, and how they can damage your oral health.
Let’s start with one straightforward but rarely considered oral health issues: did you know that it’s harder to keep your smile clean when your teeth are misaligned? This is because crooked and crowded teeth provide numerous hard-to-reach crevices in which bacteria can accumulate. Patients find that it is much easier to floss and brush effectively when their teeth are properly aligned.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when your bite surfaces do not come together comfortably and naturally, you are likely to change the way you chew/move your lower jaw in order to compensate for this imbalance. This put stress on your temporomandibular joints, and it can lead your dental enamel to wear down unevenly.
Bite problems can also be signs of more seriously underlying dental issues, like TMJ disorder and bruxism. For example, patients who suffer from bruxism (chronic dental grinding and clenching) may find that their teeth start to shift over time due to the immense pressure that bruxism puts on their smile. At the same time, dental grinding puts the patient at risk of developing cracked and chipped enamel, as well as further jaw problems.
Our Toluca Lake dentists encourage you to view your oral health holistically—maintaining oral health is about so much more than just preventing cavities. If you want to learn more about the causes of bite dysfunction as well as treatments, please reach out to our helpful team!