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Five reasons your bite matters

Malocclusion can impact everything from your looks to your sleep quality.

When it comes to reconstructive or cosmetic dentistry, a lot of people focus on their teeth and smile. Very rarely does someone contact me asking for a more comfortable bite. My client’s bite is a key consideration in my comprehensive approach to dental care because it’s the cornerstone of a healthy, well-functioning mouth. Malocclusion, or a bad bite, doesn’t just affect your mouth, it can compromise your overall health and wellbeing.

Over the years many different factors will affect your bite including tooth wear, changes in fillings, loss of teeth and undesirable habits like nail and pen biting. This can impact your daily comfort when resting and eating as well as your appearance and sleep quality.

Here are five reasons your bite should be a key consideration in your dental treatment plan.

1. A bad bite can make you look older than you are.

Your bite acts as a foundation for your skin and smile. There’s a good reason solid foundations are laid when building a home. The same goes for fillings and other dental work.

Over the years, your bite inevitably changes as your teeth and fillings wear down. If this hasn’t been kept in check by your dentist, or is allowed to continue without intervention, this slump in your foundations will negatively affect the appearance of your smile.

As your bite becomes less stable, it provides less support for your skin and smile which can cause creasing around the lips and partial or full collapse of the lower third of your face. The good news is, there are more long term options than dermal fillers and traditional plastic surgery to help iron out or prevent lip, skin and lower face creasing. Ensuring your reconstructive dentist knows how to manage your bite over the years means you’ll have a well-supported smile and a more youthful appearance.

2. A misaligned bite can lead to jaw degeneration.

If your upper and lower teeth don’t come together properly, you can experience pain in your jaw. This is because your joints have to work harder when you bite down, chew and rest. While your joints are incredibly adaptive, they aren’t invincible. Your jaw joints working overtime can lead to a degenerative disease also known as Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).

If you notice some discomfort in your jaw joints, a preventative approach is best. An experienced reconstructive dentist, like myself, can analyse your bite and develop a treatment plan to correct it, before any degeneration begins. I can also help you re-stabilise your bite, even when degeneration has crept in.


3. Your sleep quality could be compromised.

A good night’s sleep is vital for our overall health and wellbeing. If you find yourself waking during the night, snoring or feeling fatigued in the morning, it could be exacerbated by a bad bite.

Overclosure of the jaw can crowd your airway by forcing the tongue backwards, making it more difficult to sleep soundly. Mucking around with this basic tenet of life is often called Sleep Disordered Breathing. It can leave you feeling lethargic and can even cause grinding and clenching, making tooth and jaw damage exponentially worse. Even gradually wearing down your bite could be slowly compromising your health, without you realising it.

4. Eating can be uncomfortable and cause tooth damage.

Often client’s with a bad bite will tell me that something doesn’t feel right when they are eating or even when they’re just resting their jaw. This isn’t surprising as our teeth touch approximately 2,500 times per day just when swallowing, an action that engages our muscles, ligaments, joints and brain.

If your teeth aren’t meeting well, you’re applying extra pressure to your jaw joints and teeth every time you eat. This increased force can lead to wearing down of your enamel, cracks in teeth, TMD and even catastrophic failure of virgin teeth and fillings.

5. Your bite could cause sore muscles and headaches.

Body: When you do a weights session at the gym, your muscles are sore the next day. If your jaw muscles are tensing up throughout the day, or especially throughout the night, they too will get stiff and sore. These symptoms, often resulting in a headache or neck strain, can be the simple result of your muscles and ligaments compensating for your bad bite.

You may also experience clicks, pops and locks of your jaw. Even if these are long standing, they are not normal, they’re actually forms of jaw dislocation and should not be ignored.

Treat malocclusion

If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms described above, I’d love to chat about how we can align your bite to improve your appearance and overall quality of life. You’ll be amazed at how a carefully considered treatment plan will transform your level of comfort and confidence.

Check out my website for more info on my comprehensive approach to dental care and when you’re ready, book a consultation so I can better understand your dental (and life) goals.