A bite problem arises when the three parts of your chewing system - your teeth, jaw joint and chewing muscles - cannot function ideally because of the way your teeth fit together.
Over time, the stress a bite problem puts on your chewing system may lead to muscle and jaw joint pain as well as headaches, ringing in your ears and worn, broken or loose teeth. At Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry, our Annapolis dental team can help determine these issues and create a treatment plan to help.
We may be able to offer a variety of solutions, some of which may be completed in just one or two office visits. The first step is scheduling a consultation.
What Causes a Bite Problem?
The alignment of our jaw joint, and the positioning of our teeth, all play a role in the health of our bite. The mouth is a constantly moving system with multiple pieces that need to work together for optimum health. The positioning of each piece can either promote or disrupt the unit.
A bite problem is caused by:
||Teeth Alignment: The alignment or positioning of your teeth is important to your bite. Inadequate spacing or teeth that are impacted can cause havoc to your alignment. Some of the most common alignment issues include an overbite, underbite and crossbite. Correcting these issues improves your oral health both in preventing disease and increasing your function.
||Missing Teeth: Missing teeth causes negative effects to your jawbone, function and teeth alignment. Often, a patient will suggest that a missing tooth is positive for overcrowding, but the reality is that missing teeth leaves room for neighboring teeth to roam in an uncontrolled manner. Shifting neighboring teeth rarely move in a fashion that is beneficial. Restoring missing teeth is best for your oral health.
||Jaw Alignment: Our jaws play an important role in our oral health. We open and close them throughout the day to eat, breathe and speak. We rely on the hinge joint to open and close appropriately throughout the day. A jaw that is out of alignment may be unable to fully open or close, it may cause popping or clicking in the joint, you may find it difficult to open or close, or you may experience a range of pain in the joint, cheek, ear or even experience headaches. A jaw may just be misaligned, or can become misaligned following a facial injury. Even a slight misdirection can cause disruption to the joint.
Bite problems are when your upper and lower teeth are rubbing against each other irregularly, or when you are chewing and meeting unevenly when you close your mouth.
A jaw joint disorder, known as temporomandibular disorders or TMD, are disorders of the jaw muscles due to misalignment. Patients with TMD can experience discomfort, pain, or even the inability to open or close their mouths.
How Do We Fix Bite Problems?
During your regular dental checkup appointments, we look for irregularities or areas of concern, including bite problems. We want our patients to be informed of potential risks and are happy to discuss treatment options.
As we evaluate your individual risk factors including the development of disease, or bite problems, we can then discuss appropriate management.
Your Bite Problem Management Protocol may include:
Kois Appliance: Wearing a Kois Deprogrammer helps us determine your most relaxed jaw position. A Kois Deprogrammer is a removable, plastic appliance that we can use to help the muscles in the mouth deprogram training and then help your jaw settle in a different way. Most patients wear this device for 1-4 weeks. It can also be used for evaluating the stability of a patient's bite. We like the Kois Deprogrammer because it helps us determine the patient's needs between the three types of abnormal occlusal attrition.
Treating an Uneven Bite: We want to help improve your bite. This may include reshaping your teeth, rebuilding missing teeth with dental restorations or creating an orthodontic plan. Determining your bite issues and then designing a treatment plan specific to your needs can come with multiple steps and varying treatment times. For some patients, this may include the use of an orthodontic appliance including braces, aligners, a retainer or more. We will need to evaluate the bite and discuss options.
Restoring Missing Teeth: Missing teeth can be a cause of significant problems in your mouth. From bone health, to wandering neighboring teeth, you do not want bigger problems to occur. We can restore missing teeth using traditional methods such as a dental bridge or denture, or with a better solution of rebuilding the root with a dental implant. Restoring teeth with implants is best for your bone health, your jaw alignment, and your overall health. Ask our team about dental implants and how they can improve your oral health.
What Will Happen If I Choose To Do Nothing About My Bite Problem?
Malocclusions, or the misalignment of teeth, is a very common dental disorder with a wide range of problems that could occur.
We recommend the treatment of bite problems because of the span of negative effects that many patients experience.
When a person has bite problems, the primary complication is an increased risk of developing disease and decay which then leads to other problems. Our mouths are in constant contact with disease causing bacteria. We want to eliminate hiding spots that bacteria can settle, improving your ability to appropriately brush and floss bacteria away.
In addition, if bite problems are left untreated, it can lead to frustration and pain. Malocclusions and alignment issues can be the cause of chronic head and neck pain including migraines, jaw joint problems and the destruction of your teeth.
If you're concerned about a bite problem, feel free to ask during your dental consultation. You can set up your first appointment
with Dr. Djawdan
or Dr. Cross
at Djawdan Center for Implant and Restorative Dentistry by contacting us at (443) 569-8764