One of the most common dental issues that people face is an uneven bite. This may be due to a variety of different reasons, such as:
- Crooked or Missing Teeth
- Uneven Crown/Molding Fit
- Jaw Injury
While an uneven bite is common, it’s only when the issue is allowed to linger that it becomes truly problematic. Yes, an uneven bite can lead to a whole slew of oral issues, from jaw pain to frequent headaches to speech impediments to a greater difficulty brushing and keeping certain areas of the mouth clean. But perhaps the most common side effect of an uneven bite is the wearing down of the teeth. Here’s a look at four ways an uneven bite can lead to this issue:
An uneven bite can affect one of the most basic human functions – chewing – and cause teeth to wear down in the process. An uneven bite can cause the enamel to wear from the teeth, giving way to the much darker colored tooth surface known as “dentin.” And dentin has the potential to wear down much faster than enamel, potentially leading to even greater oral issues. Improper chewing from an uneven bite can also cause the teeth to awkwardly clash with one another, leading to more loose and fractured teeth.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
It’s estimated that up to 38 percent of all children and up to 20 percent of all adults – roughly one out of every four people who visit the dentist – suffer from teeth grinding, or bruxism. Teeth grinding typically occurs at night and is often caused by an uneven bite. (Bruxism can also be caused by stress and anxiety, so it’s important to rule out other causes too.) If allowed to persist without treatment, teeth grinding can become so severe that a person’s teeth can be worn down to their stumps, meaning that bridges, crowns, root canals, implants and even dentures may be necessary to remedy the issue.
An uneven bite can wreak havoc on your jaw joints, creating issues with the TMJ. Furthermore, because of this uneven bite and the effect it’s taking on your jaw, it’s likely that you’ll chew, smile and talk in a means as where you’re in the least amount of pain possible. But this might not be good for your overall oral health, potentially causing the teeth to grind or be positioned in an awkward way that’s more prone to wear.
Finally, another common side effect of an uneven bite is the movement of the teeth. And when teeth move, they throw off more things inside the mouth and can force teeth to come more in contact with each other, leading to excess wear.
As you can see, something as common and easy to correct as an uneven bite can lead to a whole slew of problems. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re regularly seeing your dentist – not only to receive regular teeth cleanings, but so any bite issues that you have can be analyzed and treated so that your oral health doesn’t suffer. And an uneven bite is one of the easiest and most common things to treat, often done via a bite guard, retainer or bite balancing alignment.
For more information on the potential issues an uneven bite can cause and for details on treatment solutions, contact our practice today. A solution today could wind up saving you lots of time, money, frustration and teeth down the road.