How Your Bite Impacts Your Health

Have you always been dissatisfied with your appearance because your teeth are misaligned? The technical term is malocclusion. Perhaps the issue is with your child’s teeth. You notice that your loved one may have protruding teeth, upper teeth that are inside of the lower teeth instead of outside, or another similar issue. These are problems with their bite. 

Having a proper bite isn’t only a cosmetic issue; it’s a health concern. Improper bites can lead to gum disease and more. 

Dr. Karen Reese with Reese Orthodontics in New Hope and Chanhassen, Minnesota, can help you resolve bite problems with modern orthodontic treatment. The first step is an orthodontic consultation. She performs an oral exam, takes digital X-rays, and reviews medical history. 

Dr. Reese explains how the bite problem can affect your or your child’s physical and mental health in the future. If the misalignment is pronounced, problems eating, speaking, and/or breathing could result. Following are just some examples of how an improper bite affects your health or that of your child.  

Crossbite

Do some of your child’s upper teeth fit inside their lower teeth? If this malocclusion isn’t changed, your child’s facial structure could become uneven. It could affect the growth of one side of your child’s jaw, so that one side sticks out more than the other. Enamel on the teeth can also wear away.  

Underbite 

If your child has an underbite, the lower teeth stick out in front of the upper teeth. As your child grows, their lower face becomes unnaturally elongated, causing a bulldog-like appearance. There is more wear and tear on the teeth, along with pressure on the jaw joints, which can result in TMJ. Speech can also be impaired. 

Open bite

This problem occurs when your child’s upper and lower front teeth don’t meet, or the front teeth meet but not the back teeth. If this isn’t altered, your child’s teeth may interfere with their tongue when swallowing, making swallowing difficult. Speech problems may also occur. 

Front teeth that protrude 

If your child has front teeth that protrude too much, they may already experience teasing. Their upper jaw is forward too much in proportion to their lower jaw, or the teeth simply didn’t grow in straight. It may be hard for your child to close their mouth. They’re likely to have or develop speech problems and may be more prone to tooth decay because their mouth is dry.  

Bite problems don’t take care of themselves. They require expert orthodontic care. Treatment from Dr. Reese will create a healthier bite for you or your child, leading to improved oral health, and heading off problems in the future like TMJ. Your child’s speech won’t suffer an impairment as they grow. 

One of the most important benefits of correcting an improper bite is to your or your child’s mental health. A normal appearance is an important component of making friends and being socially accepted. 

A proper bite helps your face remain symmetrical. When malocclusion is present, the facial structure is compromised. Children whose teeth stick out or whose jaws are misaligned are often the subject of relentless teasing or bullying. This emotional pain can be avoided with orthodontic treatment.

To schedule an evaluation for yourself or a family member, call our office most convenient to you or book an appointment online today. 

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