WHAT IS CONSIDERED A BAD BITE?
A normal bite and a bad bite are looked at during evaluations with patients at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida. A normal “bite” typically positions the upper teeth slightly forward from the lower teeth. Not many people have a perfect bite, which is referred to as “occlusion.” A bad bite, on the other hand, often referred to by professionals as malocclusion, is the misalignment or incorrect relation between the top and bottom jaws. When the teeth don’t come together with the right alignment, the ability to speak and chew normally is impacted. You may be experiencing wear or grinding of the teeth caused by bruxism or TMJ/TMD and need to seek treatment.
WHAT CAUSES MALOCCLUSION OR A BAD BITE?
Patients can have an overbite, underbite, or crossbite for various reasons. Some patients have an underdeveloped jaw that is too small to provide incoming teeth the space they need, resulting in overcrowding. Some have upper or lower jaws that are not proportioned in size. Excessive protrusion of one of the jaws tends to happen in these cases, along with misalignment of the teeth.
For many patients, misalignment can be inherited. However, certain factors, such as sleeping disorders in childhood, can also affect the developing jaws. Childhood habits such as tongue thrusting, pacifier use, and thumb sucking can also contribute to misaligned teeth.
TYPES OF BAD BITES (MALOCCLUSION)
MALOCCLUSION (CLASS I)
The molars often line up but not with the front teeth. This type of bite can result in muscle pain, jaw pain, cracking, or uneven tooth wear.
MALOCCLUSION (CLASS II)
The teeth near the front of the smile will protrude forward, which can cause the molars to sit more forward as well
MALOCCLUSION (CLASS III)
The lower jaw is often positioned forward. This might also be referred to as an underbite and can result in challenges with eating, speaking, and uneven tooth wear.
MALOCCLUSION TREATMENT OPTIONS
During your comprehensive evaluation with our team at Gentle Dentistry, Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda del Cueto will take digital photographs and X-rays to perform a full examination to decide what bite you have—and what can be done to address it. Some of the treatment options for malocclusion include:
- Growth modification with a palatal expander (a method of early intervention in children)
- Jaw surgery that can be used to reposition both the upper and lower jaws
- Lingual Frenectomy
- Orthodontics, including traditional braces or clear aligner therapy
- Removal of teeth to correct overcrowding
- Restorative dental treatments, including dental crowns to reshape the natural teeth
Left untreated, the mispositioning of the teeth can easily contribute to cavities because the teeth are harder to clean, and food can easily become trapped between the teeth and the spaces available.
SCHEDULE AN EVALUATION TODAY
If you have teeth alignment issues, and if your ability to speak and eat properly is affected by poor bite alignment, call Drs. Angela Rasmussen and Amanda del Cueto at (813) 734-7102 for an evaluation at Gentle Dentistry.