What Is Your Bite?

Dentists and orthodontists refer to your “bite” as occlusion. You might hear them say that to you in the office from time to time. Occlusion is the term used for the way in which your upper and lower teeth come together in your mouth.

Orthodontists are concerned with correcting your bite if it’s misaligned. This is also known as a malocclusion. There are different types of malocclusions, broken down into classes.

Class I is the most common occlusion and means that the jaws are aligned properly but the teeth within the jaws are misaligned. Spacing and crowding issues can be corrected fairly easily with orthodontic treatment. Class II malocclusion means that the upper jaw and teeth overlap the bottom jaw and teeth more than they should. Class III is known as an underbite, and is the reverse of Class II. An underbite occurs when the bottom jaw and teeth overlap the top jaw and teeth.

How a Deep Bite Affects Your Teeth

Your teeth’s strength and durability are at risk with a malocclusion. Whether you have an overbite or an underbite, your teeth could grind together and wear down the enamel. Enamel protects your teeth and keeps them strong and healthy. If you lose that, your teeth could become much more brittle and sensitive, causing major long-term effects and weakness.

With a severe overbite, your lower front teeth could come into contact with the roof of your mouth or your upper gums and cause damage there. This has been known to lead to gum recession and damage of your upper teeth.

How Your Bite Can Improve Your Teeth

A balanced bite is key to your teeth and jaw performing correctly. Not only does it improve your smile and appearance, but it helps with chewing and speech. Misaligned jaws and bites can cause strain on your jaw muscles and teeth. Orthodontic treatment can straighten them out and keep you from any uncomfortable muscle pain.

Usually when you have crooked and crowded teeth, your gums aren’t able to stay as healthy and clean as they should. Getting your teeth straightened out with braces keeps plaque from building up on and around your teeth. In addition to straightened teeth, a proper bite can also make brushing and flossing much easier and allow for you to get to harder-to-reach areas.

While these bite issues can seem scary, they are not untreatable. If your bite doesn’t seem right, you have jaw pain, or your teeth are biting down in uncomfortable places, you should call Charleston Orthodontic Specialists at (843) 4-BRACES to get a free initial exam and see if you’re a good candidate for braces. Don’t let jaw or teeth misalignment impact your confidence or dental health. Start working towards that spectacular smile you’ve always wanted today!