Why Your Bite Matters

Why Your Bite Matters

Perfectly aligned smiles are a thing of beauty. They’re also very rare. In fact, having bite issues, also known as malocclusions, is one of the most common dental problems.

Did you know, however, that crooked or misaligned teeth aren’t simply a cosmetic concern? Misaligned teeth can wreak havoc on your oral and overall health, says our own Dr. Meriem Boukadoum here at 54th Street Dental

Take a moment as Dr. Boukadoum unpacks the connection between healthy smiles and a properly aligned bite.

Benefits of straight teeth and proper alignment

A logical place to start this topic is to define what proper alignment means so you can better understand its importance. If your teeth and jaw are properly aligned, your lower and upper teeth line up perfectly when you close your mouth.

This optimal alignment enables your teeth and jaw to work together ideally to perform various functions such as chewing and speaking. However, if your bite is off, the complications aren’t merely oral health matters. Untreated bite issues may contribute to numerous oral health problems.

Makes brushing and flossing easier and more effective

Keeping your teeth clean and free of food debris is much easier when your teeth are straighter and your bite is aligned. When your alignment is off and your teeth are crooked, brushing and flossing is more like navigating an obstacle course than performing effective at-home hygiene care. 

Reaching all tooth surfaces and those hard-to-access nooks and crannies is challenging at best and impossible at worst.

Makes tooth decay and gum disease less likely

Not surprisingly, when your at-home oral care routine is compromised, you’re more likely to get cavities and need fillings. But that’s not the end of the story. Once the floodgate is open to uncontrolled bacteria and tooth decay, it’s a pathway to more serious oral care issues like gum disease. 

A healthy bite is like an insurance plan against unencumbered bacteria, which can wreak havoc on the health of your teeth and gums.

Enables you to chew and speak properly

Your bite also plays a significant role in your ability to bite and chew food properly, and in turn aids in the digestion process, as your body turns food into fuel. If a misaligned bite is left untreated, you could choose softer foods more often, which may not necessarily provide nutritional value.

Similarly, your bite matters in your ability to speak clearly. If your bite is in tip-top shape, the teeth, lips, tongue and roof of your mouth work together to properly form words. Without alignment, the risk of speech issues increases, such as whistling sounds or lisps.

Reduces the risk for excessive wear and teeth damage

Misalignment also contributes to teeth damage such as chipping, cracking, and wearing down. Straight teeth and a proper bite facilitate optimal movement because the teeth, jawbone and muscles are able to work together seamlessly.

Can ward off teeth grinding

Worn down, damaged teeth are a telltale sign of teeth grinding or bruxism. Did you know that many people who suffer from bruxism don’t even realize they’re doing it? 

If you count yourself among the estimated 30 million to 40 million Americans who suffer from teeth grinding, your dentist may have been the first one to clue you in at a routine checkup because your damaged teeth gave it away. 

Teeth that don’t line up properly can lead to jaw instability, which places excessive stress on jaw joints and muscles. This stress, in turn, can trigger bruxism. 

Makes jaw and joint problems less likely

Similarly, jaw joint problems and jawbone instability may ultimately damage the bones that support your teeth, causing a perfect storm for the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD). TMJ causes jaw pain and may be accompanied by persistent migraines or headaches.

If you have crowded or crooked teeth, a crossbite, or an overbite, and want to learn more about treatment options, contact 54th Street Dental by using the online booking tool to request an appointment, or call our office in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City at 212-333-3200. 

Dr. Boukadoum has helped countless patients address malocclusion with the popular Invisalign® clear aligner system. Contact us today to start your journey to your healthiest smile ever.

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