Treatment For An Incorrect Bite
Crooked teeth leading to poor smile aesthetics and potentially functional issues too
Crooked teeth are not uncommon; indeed over the years, our Epsom cosmetic dentists have straightened many patient’s teeth to help them to have a more attractive smile. Many who choose this treatment do so primarily for cosmetic purposes, unaware of the functional and health benefits it also offers.
The fact is that crooked teeth can create what is known as a ‘bad bite’, or malocclusion. This can lead to a number of dental and related problems which need to be corrected to prevent additional issues in the future. In today’s Clock Tower Dental Clinic blog, we will take a look at some of the problems that might arise if you suffer with a bad bite.
What do we mean by a ‘bad bite’?
A bad bite or malocclusion can be said to be when the teeth don’t meet as they should do. Sometimes this is visibly obvious, such as when teeth protrude, but even the smallest malocclusion can create problems and may lead to eventual long term damage to the teeth.
So what then are some of the problems that patients in this situation might encounter? Below, we list a few of these.
Because force is applied less evenly when the teeth are incorrectly aligned, this means that some parts of a tooth might receive more pressure than they are built for. This probably won’t happen immediately but, over time, may weaken the tooth leading to breakage.
Even though we do it subconsciously, we adjust our bite according to the condition of our teeth. This can mean that we don’t use our jaw evenly but adjust its movement and sometimes use excessive pressure to compensate for problematic teeth. Over time, this can lead to a problem known as TMJ, or (temporomandibular jaw) disorder. This can cause discomfort ranging from relatively mild to quite severe. The discomfort is often not limited to the jaw either and can cause other problems such as headaches and neck tension.
We have covered enamel erosion caused by diet before, but it can also happen if our teeth don’t meet correctly. The friction between the teeth will gradually cause the enamel to thin and erode. When this happens, the risk of tooth decay is increased in addition to any increase in tooth sensitivity.
Correcting a ‘bad bite’
Once a tooth or teeth have become crooked, they will not go back to the correct position on their own. Indeed, once a tooth has become misaligned, it is more than likely that others will follow until your teeth are generally quite misaligned. The primary way to correct a bad bite is through the use of orthodontics. Traditionally, dental braces have been made from metal, making them very visible. It is probably not surprising then, that some people have been reluctant to wear them, especially as straightening teeth is usually not a fast treatment and the braces may have to be worn for some time.
There is good news though! The Clock Tower Dental Clinic is pleased to offer modern cosmetic dental braces that are both highly effective and very discreet.
One of the most popular of treatments is known as the Clear Aligner and uses an entirely different concept from traditional ‘wire and bracket’ braces. Instead, you will be given a series of transparent ‘trays’ that fit directly over your teeth. Each of these trays will gradually reposition your teeth to a certain point after which the next tray is fitted. This continues until your teeth are straight and even.
The trays are produced from very accurate impressions of your mouth and can be removed when you are eating meals and for cleaning your teeth.
Where the problem lies in the most visible front teeth, there are fast acting methods that can reposition them whilst also offering a high degree of discretion. Whilst this system does use traditional wire and brackets, it does so using finer, tooth coloured materials that make the braces more difficult to see when being worn. The system that we use at our Epsom practice is known as ‘Six Month Smile’, a successful and popular system that is widely used by people who need relatively minor adjustments to the teeth at the front of the mouth.
Even if you are not too bothered about uneven teeth, we would still advise that you consider having them straightened. Not only will this help to bring out the best in your smile but it will also help the health and functional aspects of your teeth too.
For more advice on orthodontic treatments or to arrange a consultation with us, please call our Epsom dental practice on 01372 720136.