Problems That Can Arise From a Misaligned Bite

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Did you know there is a lesser-known reason for headaches that is linked to malocclusion? Malocclusion happens when the jaws and teeth do not align correctly due to the abnormal placement of the teeth when the jaws close. This misalignment can result in an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or crowded teeth. Although people often seek treatment for malocclusion for cosmetic reasons, it is crucial to address the issue for medical purposes as well. Correcting malocclusion helps ensure the teeth function properly and last for many years.

Why Fix Malocclusion

Unless the malocclusion is severe, orthodontics can easily fix these problems. If a child has malocclusion, they may need a combination of orthodontics and orthognathic surgery. If a child’s malocclusion is due to misaligned jaws and they are still young, orthopedic headgear can frequently solve the issue.

Straightened teeth help prevent tooth decay and gum disease because they are easier to clean, making brushing and flossing simple. An aligned bite also prevents speech issues, allowing you to speak and chew normally. Your body needs to break down and absorb the necessary nutrients from your diet.

Correct tooth alignment also reduces wear and tear on the teeth and minimizes TMJ discomfort. Conversely, untreated malocclusion stresses the jaw and jaw muscles, leading to tenderness, pain in the jaw and neck, and, of course, headaches.

  • Overcrowding happens when teeth become overcrowded; they develop into a condition where they are crooked or overlap each other.
  • Gapped teeth or diastema occurs when teeth fail to occupy the available space between them or in places where teeth are missing.
  • Overjet arises when the upper teeth extend excessively over the lower teeth, thereby interfering with normal speaking and eating.
  • Overbite is when increased pressure causes the front teeth to protrude further forward and bite down on the gums.
  • Crossbite occurs when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, potentially causing damage to the front or back teeth.
  • Underbite occurs when the lower teeth extend outward more than the upper front teeth.
  • Open bite occurs when the upper and lower front teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed, resulting in a gap or opening between the rows of teeth.

How Braces Help

Retainers and braces worn on teeth can realign them correctly and maintain the ideal position of the teeth and jaw. A retainer might need to be worn for many years, even lifelong, to keep this alignment.

Clear aligner treatment effectively addresses class 1 malocclusion, some underbites, and overbites. Braces are suitable for correcting significant gaps and crooked teeth, as well as underbites and overbites. They are particularly beneficial for children and teenagers, who are most affected by malocclusion during these stages. Sometimes, baby teeth may need extraction to create space for permanent teeth to come in. Braces then use gentle pressure to correct jaw issues and align teeth, followed by wearing a retainer to maintain their position.