Bite Problems: Causes and Treatment

Bite Problems: Causes and Treatment

In orthodontics, the term bite refers to the manner in which your upper and lower teeth come together. Ideally, your teeth should align perfectly, and you should have no problem bringing them to a close. However, people often have bite problems which make that impossible. 

Bite problems can be caused by different factors. Based on those factors, the issues are separated into various categories. These causes can be genetic or due to habits and dental procedures. In a lot of cases, an ill-fitting dental bridge is what causes all the trouble. 

Below, we will list all the types of bite problems, their causes, and treatment options you should check out. Stay tuned. 

Bite Problems Explained

Bite problems happen when your upper and lower teeth cannot align. This condition may make it hard for you to chew or speak or cause you pain, depending on its severity. Of course, slight misalignment is not that big of a problem and may not require treatment at all. 

Making sure your teeth can align is vital for several reasons. Firstly, it will allow you to eat and speak without any pain or discomfort. Secondly, it will protect your tongue and the insides of your cheeks from an injury that misaligned teeth can cause. 

Types of Bite Problems

  • Crossbite (upper teeth fit inside lower)
  • Underbite (lower teeth are fully in front of the upper)
  • Open bite (back teeth overlap but front don’t)
  • Deep bite (upper teeth cover lower teeth completely)
  • Crowding (insufficient space for all teeth)
  • Spacing (too much space between teeth)
  • Protrusion (front teeth stick out a lot)

What Are the Causes of Bite Problems?

In a lot of cases, bite problems occur due to inherited dental conditions. Certain habits can also change the shape and structure of your jaw, thus causing misalignment. 

Health Conditions That May Cause Bite Problems

One of the most common causes of bite problems is a cleft lip and palate. These congenital disabilities occur because the cells and tissue that make up the lips and palate do not join properly as the baby develops in the womb. These conditions manifest through the baby having openings on their upper lip and/or palate. 

These openings can vary in size and can be dealt with surgically. However, they can also cause jaw problems and lead to misaligned teeth, especially if the surgery isn’t done immediately. 

Other causes of bite problems include tumors in your mouth and jaw. These growths will impede your jaw and teeth from functioning properly and cause them to become misaligned. This will happen because the tumors or cysts need room to grow. 

Habits That May Cause Bite Problems

Certain habits, especially those in early childhood, can also cause misaligned teeth. These include the frequent use of pacifiers after a child turns 3, as well as prolonged bottle feeding. In addition, a child’s teeth can become misaligned from thumb sucking in early childhood, when the teeth are still forming and growing. 

Poor Dental Work

In many cases, bite problems are caused by poorly executed dental work. Specifically, bite issues mainly occur because of dental bridges. Ill-fitting dental bridges can cause a lot of trouble when it comes to teeth alignment if they are loose or uneven in your mouth. 

Apart from preventing you from biting and eating normally, loose dental bridges can cause other symptoms as well. These include soreness and pain in the jaw, difficulty speaking and pronouncing certain sounds, as well as headaches. 

Treatment Options for Bite Problems

As we have already mentioned, mild bite problems, such as just not being able to align your teeth completely, are not a big deal. You most probably won’t need treatment and can continue living as usual. 

However, if the bite problems manifest as pain, soreness, or difficulties eating and talking, you will need some sort of treatment. Such conditions can only become worse with time, so it is pivotal to treat them as soon as possible. The list of things your dentist might recommend are as follows:

Braces or Retainers

Your dentist will most probably fit you with braces or retainers if your bite problems are severe. You will have to wear them for a certain time, usually a year or two. They will help your teeth go back to their standard shape and restructure your jaw properly. That way, you will no longer have any pain or difficulties. 

Tooth Removal

Sometimes, the teeth are so badly misaligned no braces or retainers can fix the damage. If you pair that with unbearable pain and overall discomfort, tooth removal becomes your only option. 

As drastic as it may sound, tooth removal is actually a quick and efficient solution. You will get a replacement tooth, and your bite problems will be history. 

Readjusting the Dental Bridge

If your misaligned teeth are caused by a loose dental bridge, you can go to your dentist so they can readjust and cement it once again. In most cases, this procedure will happen quickly and not be considered an emergency. 

If the bridge isn’t too loose, your dentist may allow you to take it out and readjust it yourself until you can come in for an appointment. You can do that by purchasing an OTC dental adhesive and applying it to the bridge. That will help keep it in place until you visit your dentist. 

Surgery

In some instances, the misalignment of teeth can be so severe that jaw surgery is the only option. However, such situations are pretty rare and do not apply to common bite problems we have discussed so far. 

In Conclusion

Bite problems can be a serious dental issue that needs your attention right away. Scheduling a dentist appointment and getting treatment early on is of utmost importance for your dental and overall health. So, don’t wait. Even if the problems seem minor at the beginning, they could lead to something worse quickly. Do the best for yourself, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.



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