Don’t you wish there were more quick fixes in life? If a light bulb goes out or a breaker flips, all we need to do is a quick update and everything is illuminated again. Things aren’t so fast when it comes to caring for your oral health, and some problems can become bigger issues over time. That’s usually the case when it comes to your bite—at first, we hardly notice there is something not right until it impacts our lives in a negative way.
Thankfully there are solutions to help you deal with jaw and bite malalignments. They aren’t quick fixes, but with the right team of professionals, you can trust that the outcome will be great and will help you live a better quality of life. Find your treatment team at Serrano Orthodontics where Dr. Paul and Dr. Andrew Serrano are ready to help you solve your oral health problems and create the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.
What Causes Bite Problems?
There is no single cause for bite problems, and what develops as a malalignment for one person, might be completely different for the next. There are a few common factors, including childhood habits that we call myofunctional habits like bottle feeding, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking. It can also be impacted by genetics, facial development, or injury.
Regardless of what causes the bite problem, it is important to have it treated by an orthodontist. The sooner the better is what we always say since shifting children’s bones is easier while they are growing. If you did not make it into treatment as a child, don’t give up hope! There are still treatment options available for adults.
What Do We Mean by Bite Problems?
There are several kinds of bite problems. Most of them can be categorized into these groups:
When there is not enough space along the jaw for all your teeth, causing them to crowd together.
Misplaced Midline Bite
When the center of your upper teeth does not match the center of your lower teeth.
When the upper teeth stick out farther than the lower teeth.
When the upper and lower teeth do not connect when you bite down.
When the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth when you bite.
When the lower jaw is longer than the size and length of the upper jaw.
What Problems Can Bite Issues Cause?
If you struggle with a misaligned bite, you may recognize some of the issues below. All of them are serious problems and should be treated to improve the quality and long-term longevity of your health.
Your facial bone structure impacts your nasal passages. When your jaw is not in alignment, it can narrow the nasal passages, making it more difficult to breathe out of your nose. This results in mouth breathing, snoring, sleep apnea, and dry mouth.
Jaw and Facial Pain
It’s never a good idea to ignore chronic pain, including in your jaw and face. Chronic jaw or TMJ pain is usually a sign of unnecessary stress and strain on the muscles of the jaw, usually from a misaligned bite. Oftentimes when left untreated, the pain can affect connecting muscles and go down into your neck and shoulders. Correcting your bite problems with orthodontics is one of the best permanent solutions to banish TMJ pain.
Wearing Down Teeth
As we age, our tooth enamel tends to thin due to normal wear and tear. However, when your teeth are clashing together unnecessarily because of a bite issue, you will notice enamel wear happening much faster and more dangerously. Worn enamel exposes the inner parts of the tooth, usually causing sensitivity or pain, and eventually can lead to decay or tooth loss when not dealt with properly.
Chewing is important to both our physical and emotional wellness since it allows you to enjoy the process of eating, while also breaking down foods to make them digestible. If your misaligned bite is making it difficult for you to chew, that means that you may be swallowing pieces that are too large to be easily digested. This can slow down your entire digestive tract, create gas and bloating, as well as constipation, heartburn, and bad breath.
Treatment for Jaw Problems
Thankfully, at Serrano Orthodontics we have more than one solution to help you care for your jaw and bite problems. Talk to Dr. Paul or Andrew Serrano about which option might work best for your unique oral health needs and lifestyle.
We love recommending clear aligners to many patients who have mild to medium complexity cases. Once we have evaluated your smile and jaw, we can determine if clear aligners are a good fit for you. If it turns out that aligners are your best option, then you will go through treatment wearing a series of retainers that will slowly shift your teeth and bite into alignment. Plus, they are clear and easy to wear and care for, so that’s a great bonus!
Traditional Metal Braces
Don’t be too quick to put down braces as a less desirable option. Yes, a few restrictions come with wearing braces, like avoiding certain foods, and the shift in the appearance of your smile. But braces are known for being the most effective tool to treat challenging alignment problems. If your jaw needs more drastic shifting and moving, then braces are the best approach and will give you the healthy and stunning results that you deserve.
Clear braces, from LightForce, offer the same effective treatment as metal braces but in a more discreet, ceramic form. The brackets are customized for your specific bite and made from tooth-colored ceramic. We’ve found that patients using the LightForce clear braces often complete treatment in less time! Clear braces are an excellent fit if you aim for an effective and discreet option!
It’s Time for A Healthy Bite with Serrano Orthodontics
We are ready to help you with that healthy smile of your dreams! Call our Chandler or Phoenix office today to set up a free assessment appointment. It’s at no cost, so there’s no reason to delay having a healthy bite! We hope to hear from you soon.