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How your bite impacts your oral health

While most patients are aware of the appearance of their smile, they may not be aware of how their bite may be affecting the health and comfort of their teeth, periodontal tissues, jaw muscles, joints, their head and neck posture, and even their airway and sleep. Misalignments of the teeth that cause the bite to be off can be a problem affecting much more than the aesthetics of their smile.

What can happen with poor bite alignment?

Dr. Michael Westman of Racine, WI explains these complications that can arise from a misaligned bite:

  • Sensitive or painful teeth. Excessive bite stress is the most common cause of teeth sensitivity to cold or sensitivity to brushing – usually near the gumline. The gums may also become hypersensitive.
  • Wearing of the natural tooth enamel. Poor bite alignment causes teeth to overlap or connect improperly. This can result in wearing of the natural tooth enamel over time. Irreversible damage caused by something completely preventable!
  • Breakage of dental restorations. Do you find that you are constantly losing fillings or have to replace broken veneers or crowns? This is often due to malocclusion. With a properly aligned bite, unwanted breakage is much less likely to occur.
  • Clenching and grinding of the teeth, sometimes called bruxism, is made worse when there is poor alignment of the upper and lower teeth.
  • Jaw joint noises such as clicking, popping, or grinding; are signs of wear and tear. TMJD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) tends to be progressive with usually no pain in the beginning and only slight noise at first. Eventually the result can be acute pain episodes, chronic pain, intermittent sticking of the jaw joints or a locked jaw.

How can I address poor bite alignment?

There can be several options depending on several factors. After evaluating the conditions of the structures involved, the solution may be to simply adjust (selectively grind on) certain parts of certain teeth. However it is usually necessary to provide more physical structural bite support for the jaws by adding to or restoring teeth with fillings, onlays, or crowns; or orthodontically moving teeth to new positions to provide better bite support. Dr. Michael Westman offers many options for both children and adults.

Contact Dr. Michael Westman today

Racine, WI area patients who are interested in learning more about bite alignment and oral health are welcome to book a consultation visit with Dr. Michael Westman today! The practice can be reached at (262) 639-7000 and is located at 4944 Charles Street. His facility is always inviting new patients and families into the office for comprehensive care.

Posted in: Family Dental Care

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