An uneven bite, otherwise known as malocclusion, is a common issue. While an uneven bite might not seem like a big deal at first glance, it can lead to long-term problems such as tooth decay or gum disease and even affect your speech patterns and facial appearance if left untreated.
If you have an uneven bite or notice any signs associated with one, it’s best to book an appointment with an orthodontist immediately. They can assess the situation properly and determine what treatment will be necessary for correction. In today’s blog, we will explore the causes of uneven bites, signs that you may have one, and the benefits of seeing an orthodontist for treatment.
Causes of an Uneven Bite
An uneven bite can lead to a variety of dental issues and discomfort. Understanding the underlying causes of this condition is key to addressing it effectively. Here are some of the most common causes of uneven bite:
Prolonged thumb-sucking can commonly cause misalignment of the teeth and jaws. When young children suck their thumbs, it can put pressure on the front teeth, causing them to push forward and create an overbite. Thumb sucking can also cause the lower jaw to shift backward, leading to an underbite.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is another potential cause of an uneven bite, resulting in various issues such as discomfort and difficulties in eating, speaking, and biting. Failure to take care of your oral health can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss, affecting the alignment of your teeth and bite.
Early Loss of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are essential placeholders for permanent teeth and help guide them into the correct position in the mouth. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, the surrounding teeth can shift, causing the permanent teeth to come in at an angle. Such misalignments can lead to an uneven bite, which can cause issues with chewing, speech, and jaw pain.
In many cases, an irregular bite can be traced back to an inherited condition that affects the development and alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Signs You Should See an Orthodontist
If you have an uneven bite or are experiencing discomfort in your jaw, consider seeking the help of an orthodontist. If you’re not sure if seeing an orthodontist is right for you, here are some signs to look for:
Crowded teeth are among the most common reasons why people seek the help of an orthodontist. Crowding occurs when there is insufficient space in the jaw for all the teeth to fit properly. As a result, some teeth may be rotated, overlapped, or pushed out of place, causing discomfort, difficulty cleaning, and affecting the smile’s appearance.
Another sign that you should see an orthodontist is when there is irregular spacing between your teeth. Spaces or gaps between teeth can make it difficult to properly clean teeth and gums, leading to cavities or gum disease.
Difficulty Biting or Chewing
Misaligned teeth, overbites, or underbites can make it difficult to bite and chew properly, leading to digestive issues and malnutrition.
Clicking and Popping Sounds
If clicking or popping sounds occur when you open or close your mouth, it could signify that you need to see an orthodontist. These sounds are usually a result of a misaligned jaw or a problem with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Asymmetrical Facial Features
Asymmetrical facial features can manifest in several ways, including an uneven jawline or crooked teeth. Unevenness in the jawline can result from a misaligned bite, leading to uneven wear and tear on the teeth.
Speech impediments such as lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds may indicate that you should see an orthodontist. Such issues can affect the way your teeth and jaws align, which can, in turn, impact your ability to speak clearly.
There are various options available when it comes to treating malocclusion. The most common treatment option is braces, which adjust the alignment of the teeth over time. In more severe cases where misalignment is extreme, surgery may be required to reposition the jaw bones properly.
In some cases, the only thing necessary for treatment is regular visits with your dentist for checkups so that they can monitor the progress of your condition and ensure that no further damage occurs over time.
Other treatment options include clear aligners such as Invisalign, which offer a more discreet and comfortable option than traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are another option, where the braces are attached to the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible from the front.
Early orthodontic treatment can prevent future malocclusion problems for children by guiding the growth and development of the jaw and teeth. This may involve using expanders or other appliances to create more space for teeth to grow properly.
Benefits of Treatment
Treatment for malocclusion, or an uneven bite, can provide numerous benefits for individuals of all ages. The extent of the benefits will depend on the severity of the malocclusion, as well as the chosen treatment method.
One of the most significant benefits of correcting an uneven bite is improved oral health. Correcting the alignment of teeth makes it easier to brush and floss effectively, reducing the risk of oral health issues.
Additionally, an even bite can improve speech patterns and facial aesthetics, increasing self-confidence and overall well-being. In some cases, correcting misalignment can reduce strain and relieve TMJ-related issues. Working with an orthodontist to determine the best treatment plan can lead to improved oral hygiene habits and a healthier, happier life.
Get Treatment for Uneven Bites in Johnson City, TN
Are you feeling self-conscious about your uneven bite? Look no further than Local Orthodontics in Johnson City, TN. Our team is dedicated to providing patient-centered, affordable, and high-quality orthodontic care for all ages. We understand that every patient’s needs are unique, which is why we offer a range of treatment options, including traditional braces, Invisalign, and other cutting-edge technologies. Our experienced orthodontists will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve a straighter, healthier, and more beautiful smile.
Don’t wait any longer to get the treatment you need. Request an appointment today and take the first step towards a more confident you.