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January 18, 2019

Malocclusion? What?

Even if every individual tooth is in perfect health, your mouth can still be in trouble if your bite is wrong. Malocclusion—a bad bite—occurs whenever the peaks and valleys of your upper teeth fail to fit precisely into those of your lower teeth. A good bite meshes your teeth like the gears in fine machinery.

PERSONAL CAUSES A bad bite can result from a missing tooth, extra teeth, crowded teeth, too much space between teeth, thumb sucking after permanent teeth have grown in, gum disease and cavities.

ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES It’s not necessarily anything you did. Over generations our diets have grown softer, requiring less chewing. Club sandwiches no longer feature food we clubbed ourselves. Our faces are longer, deeper and narrower. Our teeth don’t fit our faces any more.

LIFESTYLES When Methuselah died at age 969, he may have still had his wisdom teeth. Today Miley Cyrus is already old enough to have lost hers. Who’s got room for them?

RESULTS Malocclusion can shift tooth positions, erode teeth and bridgework, cause stress where the jaw hinges, and create muscle tension. Worst of all is the pain—headaches, earaches and spasms of the facial muscles.

SOLUTIONS We can inventory your teeth and check for tooth mobility and wear. Then we’ll measure and identify the points of contact between your teeth when your mouth is closed. Minor reshaping may be all that’s needed to get your bite back in sync. An old crown or filling may need rebuilding, or a missing tooth replaced. Other tricks up our bite alignment sleeves include biteguards, removable appliances, implants and advanced orthodontic treatment.

Our goal is to keep your teeth meshed properly and your mouth humming.

 


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