What Do You Know About The Alignment Of Your Teeth?

cosmetic dentistryYour tooth alignment is an important component of your dental health and may even affect your overall health. The common name for tooth alignment is “bite,” with occlusion being the more technical term. If your bite is off it can cause problems. This is called malocclusion – a common cause of tooth pain, jaw pain and temperature sensitivity. Here are a few tips to help you decide whether malocclusion is causing or contributing to your tooth or jaw pain, sensitivity or discomfort:

  • Do your teeth appear to be wearing away? Severe wear is a sign that your bite is not spot on. If all the enamel on the biting edges of your teeth is worn away, you will see a darker colored surface – the dentin – which wears down much faster than tooth This can be damaging when it involves your front teeth – especially your lower front teeth. Correcting your bite may stop or at least slow down the wearing away.
  • Does clenching your teeth cause pain? If so, you may have a malocclusion. Clenching is also a good way to find out if a new crown or filling is too “high.” If your bite is on the mark, you should be able to bite hard and grind your teeth together in all directions without discomfort.
  • Does it hurt your jaw to bite down on something? If so, there may be a relationship between your bite and your temporomandibular jaw joint (TMJ). The pain may be associated with a structural disorder, but frequently pain originates in the muscles that move your jaw to accommodate a malocclusion.

The most common dental problems are tooth decay and gum disease, but malocclusions can cause more damage and pain than these more commonly recognized problems.

If you are experiencing tooth pain or think you may have a problem with your bite, call to schedule an appointment. We can study the relationship of your teeth and jaw, correct your bite, and perform any needed dental procedures: (413) 781-7645.

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