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What are the signs I may need bite correction?

Non-ideal bites, also known as malocclusions, are responsible for a variety of oral health issues that can cause problems with everyday life, including chewing, speaking and even sleeping.

While malocclusion can be due to genetics and lifestyle factors, accidents are also known to cause the jaw and teeth to shift, resulting in a problematic bite. For some people, it’s obvious when a malocclusion is present. But for others, the signs are less noticeable and it might take a dentist or orthodontist to determine that bite correction may be needed.

Some of the signs you may notice yourself include:

  • TMJ symptoms. TMJ (short for temporomandibular joint) is the joint on each side of your face that hinges your lower jaw to your skull. The TMJ plays a vital role in helping your jaw with the needed range of motion for chewing, speaking and even yawning. TMJ problems are noticeable when you suffer from facial or ear pain when moving your jaw, persistent headaches, frequently locked jaws, and/or clicking noises when opening and closing your mouth.
  • Speaking problems. If you have problems pronouncing certain words or sounds, it could indicate that you have a malocclusion.
  • Chewing problems. Misaligned teeth can also alter your bite when you eat and chew, making it painful and even awkward.
  • Teeth grinding. Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism), is common and often made worse due to stress. It’s a serious issue that can have major consequences for your smile and dental health. Jaw pain, toothaches and headaches related to grinding could all be related to malocclusion.
  • Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts — can cause serious side effects. Some of the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA (the most common form of sleep apnea), include chronic snoring, extreme fatigue during the day, and irritability. Although there are many other issues that can cause sleep apnea, a bad bite can lead to problems that narrow or block your airway and breathing.
  • Difficulty cleaning or flossing your teeth. Crowded or misaligned teeth that are hard to brush and floss properly may very well indicate a problem with your bite. Frequent gum bleeding can be an indication of trauma, periodontal disease, or malocclusion.

What can be done to correct a bite?

The first step if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above is to see your dentist. Dentists have a trained eye that can easily spot signs that teeth are misaligned. Uneven wear of teeth is typically a sure sign. Teeth grinding — typically while sleeping — is a major cause of uneven teeth wear and other orthodontic issues.

If your dentist does determine that you have a problematic bite — whether due to crowding, spacing, an overbite, underbite, crossbite or open bite — he or she may refer you to an orthodontist for further evaluation and treatment.

After a comprehensive exam, your orthodontist will recommend treatment options that may include:

  • Fixed braces such as traditional metal braces, lingual braces or ceramic braces, or clear aligners like Invisalign.
  • A custom mouth guard for use at night to prevent grinding.

Surgical options

In some cases, surgically assisted orthodontics may be recommended to correct a severe malocclusion from a misaligned jaw. Orthognathic surgery is a procedure that involves moving the upper jaw or maxilla forward, backward, or even widening it.

Orthognathic surgery is commonly performed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. At times, supplemental procedures are done to ensure symmetry and harmony of the facial profile. These may include chin surgery (or genioplasty), cheek augmentation, jaw implants, or malar implants.

Why Park Smiles NYC in New York City?

At Park Smiles NYC, we’re fortunate to have an award-winning team of world-class dentists. We also have on-staff some of the best general and cosmetic dentists, pediatric dentists and anesthesiologists in New York City, if not the country.

We are also pleased to offer a state-of-the-art facility accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. This accreditation assures our patients of the highest standards in safety and quality. No matter what treatment is recommended for you, the skilled staff at Park Smiles NYC is here to provide the most effective and safe treatments to restore the function of your bite and beauty of your smile.

Schedule your consultation today!

When you’re ready to take the next step to orthodontic treatment and the beautiful, healthy and straight smile of your dreams, schedule your consultation at Park Smiles NYC at (212) 988-6724. Our skilled orthodontic team looks forward to serving you soon!

Attaining a healthy, straight smile is like a Walk in the Park – at Park Smiles NYC!


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