If you have an overbite, you may be primarily concerned about the way it affects your physical appearance. However, malocclusions—the dental term for underbites, overbites, and crossbites—actually pose a health risk to your teeth and overall well-being. Below, our Hickory dentist explains why malocclusions should be corrected whenever possible.
Worn Tooth Enamel
If your teeth are not properly aligned, they will get worn down more quickly as you talk, bite, and chew. Once the tough enamel protecting your teeth is worn away, the sensitive dentin (and beneath it, the tooth pulp) will be vulnerable to sensitivity and tooth decay. Realigning your teeth helps ensure a long, healthy life for your natural teeth, which, unlike a bridge or dental implant, are free!
Jaw Pain (TMJ)
Misaligned teeth can impact the muscles of the jaw, causing long-term problems usually referred to as “TMJ”, or Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. This common condition is characterized by pain in the jaw, head, neck, face, and even ears. The jaw might also become locked into position, causing the patients difficulty with biting and chewing. While you might not develop severe TMJ from a misaligned jaw, you are certainly at highers risk for some of the symptoms.
The shape of our mouths is critical when it comes to forming words and communicating. Malocclusions can lead to speaking difficulties, especially for young children. These issues can in turn negatively impact confidence, job/school performance, and social health, especially for children and teenagers.
Avoid These Issues with Invisalign
As much as our Hickory dentists want you to have a smile that looks great, we are far more concerned about preserving the long-term health of your teeth! If you have an overbite, underbite, or cross-bite, and do not wish to pursue traditional orthodontic solutions, one great option is using clear aligners to gradually move your teeth into the proper positions.
While Invisalign, as this treatment is called, is not optimal for some situations, it’s a great situation if your malocclusion is mild and you wish to correct it discreetly. To learn if you qualify for Invisalign, stop by our Hickory dentist office today! Click here to schedule your appointment.