Malocclusion, or a bad bite, can be an uncomfortable dental problem for many patients. Bad bites are bites that are not properly aligned. Crooked or overcrowded teeth can cause bad bites. If you have overcrowded teeth or your upper and lower teeth do not come together evenly, our dental practice can help. Learn about the multiple problems that malocclusion can cause as well as how you can treat a bad bite in our Columbia, MD dental office.
Problems with Malocclusion
Patients with a bad bite are prone to developing gum disease, tooth decay, and TMJ disorders. The more misaligned the bite, the harder it is to clean. Patients who cannot easily clean between their teeth or in the back of the mouth can experience bacterial infections. Harmful decay-causing bacteria feed on food debris left in the mouth. Over time, as the bacteria consume the debris, their digestive acids irritate the tooth enamel and gum tissue.
Harmful bacteria can also create holes or pits in the teeth called cavities. Cavities destroy the tooth structure as well as the cells, blood vessels, and nerves within the tooth. Additionally, once the bacteria breaks down the gum tissue, patients can experience painful and receding gums. Eventually, patients can lose their permanent teeth because of gum disease. Patients with cavities will require root canal treatment or tooth extractions if a dentist cannot save their infected teeth. Gum disease patients may require gum grafting treatment to supply healthy gum tissue to cover their tooth roots.
A bad bite also exacerbates temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), which place stress on the teeth and jaw. Patients with misaligned teeth may find themselves unconsciously clenching or grinding their teeth. Also known as bruxism, this TMD symptom leads to toothaches, jaw pain, and tooth wear. Patients with bruxism need to wear custom nightguards during sleep to protect their teeth and alleviate their jaw pain. Straightening crooked teeth can also help alleviate TMD pain and stop these symptoms.
Treat a Bad Bite in Columbia, MD
Invisalign is one of the best treatment options for patients with mild to moderately crooked teeth. This treatment uses clear removable aligners for discreet and convenient care. Using multiple aligners, Invisalign gradually shifts the bite. For patients with severe malocclusion, we recommend metal braces. Braces use wires and brackets that reposition teeth into a straighter position. Although braces offer longer treatment, they’re worth it for patients with a severe underbite, overbite, or crossbite.
Contact our dental office for comprehensive dental care today at (410) 415-9013. You can also schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Ray Becker on our website. We look forward to seeing you at your next dental visit. You can also ask us questions about options for your smile at your next appointment.