How a Bad Bite Influences Our Appearance and Health
An improper bite is not only about an unattractive smile, but it is also a threat to a person’s health in general. In some very serious cases, not only is the jaw in danger, but also the digestive and the cardiovascular systems. Besides, bad dental prosthesis or the teeth positioned in the wrong way can change the facial features and become a reason for insecurity.
Bright Side decided to find out what the consequences an improper bite can lead to and if it is necessary to see an orthodontist when you are adult. The results are actually impressive.
1. Facial asymmetry
A little bit of asymmetry doesn’t make a face look bad and even makes it a little bit unusual, in a good way. But if a person has a malocclusion (an improper bite), a really severe asymmetry of the lower or the upper part of the face may develop. For example, if a child loses a baby tooth too early or if an adult person doesn’t have all their teeth, the mouth may look unusual: for example, one side of the mouth might be lower than the other or the line of eyes might be tilted.
Some celebrities even have this feature, but only slightly. And if the problem of a missing tooth or an improper bite is not solved in time, even the most highly-qualified dentists might not be able to solve the problem of facial asymmetry.
2. The curvature of the spine and body imbalance
If a person has an improper bite, it may cause them to have a round back or even influence their physical activity. This is mostly true for people who have a sedentary lifestyle. The influence of malocclusion on the body and spine control is more noticeable when a person feels tired.
3. Protruding upper teeth or a pronounced chin
There are 3 types of malocclusion.
- Class I: The molars are closed in the normal way, but the other teeth don’t have enough space, they are not in the same line, or there is some over or under eruption.
- Class II: The first molars of the upper and the lower jaw are not aligned with each other and the upper jaw is protruded.
- Class III: The molars are also not aligned, but the lower jaw is protruded.
So if a person has a class II malocclusion, the upper teeth will protrude, and a class III malocclusion means that they have a massive protruding chin.
4. Jaw clicking and pain
Malocclusion (improper bite) can also lead to a dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). So some people might have pain in the joint, or experience clicking and other sounds. These sounds usually appear when the jaw moves. Even though the dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint doesn’t require any serious treatment, it could become chronic.
If the teeth don’t close well, it forces a person to put additional effort into chewing food. Sometimes, it causes pain in the jaw muscles, which transmits into the temples.
The pain may appear not only during eating: if the back teeth don’t let the jaw move normally, the muscles in the jaw become tense all the time. This causes unpleasant sensations near the temples. This pain is called a tension headache.
In really rare cases, these headaches may appear if you’ve had bad dental prosthesis, which causes the jaw to not close well enough.
Experiment: In order to check and see if you have a headache because of your teeth, clench your teeth as hard as you can. If you feel that your headache is getting worse, this may be a sign that you need to see an orthodontist.
6. A risk of damaging teeth
If the surface of the teeth prevents the jaw from moving normally, the enamel will become weaker, making the teeth vulnerable to bacteria. When chewing food, there is a risk that a part of your tooth will just break. When we chew food, we apply a force of about 175 pounds per square inch (psi). But some people may be applying a force 7 times bigger. So, damaging the teeth that don’t “fit” is much easier than you think.
7. Problems with the face shape and premature aging
The growth of the skull doesn’t stop in childhood or youth. Some minor changes, according to dentists, keep happening in our later years as well. An improper bite can lead to the deformation of the face, the cheeks, or the corners of the lips — which may become lower than they used to be. By the way, the presence and absence of wisdom teeth also influence the bite. Many celebrities have wisdom teeth removed in order to make their cheekbones more visible. However, according to dentists, the face won’t get thin in most cases.
The changes in the shape of the face can also lead to early wrinkles. And they may be more visible on just one side of the face.
8. Poor digestion
If a person has a malocclusion, there is a chance that they don’t chew their food as well as they should, so some of the nutrients from the food doesn’t get digested properly. The food gets into the body in chunks, which could cause a person to develop digestive problems like acid reflux, abdominal distension, spasms, and flatulence. And because it is hard to brush teeth that are not positioned correctly, they become covered with more bacteria that gets into the digestive system through the saliva.
9. Problems with pronunciation
Studies show that people with malocclusion have more difficulties with the pronunciation of sounds. A narrow upper jaw and a high palate make it more difficult to pronounce some vowels, and displaced incisors make the overall speech less clear.
In some cases, a bad dental prosthesis can also make pronunciation more difficult.
10. Respiratory and heart problems
If a person has innate malocclusion, it may lead to other poor consequences like teeth-grinding, muscle spasms, respiratory problems during sleep, obstructive pulmonary diseases, and even immune system problems.
Researchers also found a link between the malocclusions class I and class II and myopia. Severe cases of malocclusions can lead to heart problems and hypertension. This was proven in an experiment where patients with an improper bite put on special things that allow their teeth to close correctly which then caused their arterial pressure to decrease.
11. Increased tooth sensitivity
If the jaw doesn’t close well enough in some places or when a person needs to put forth additional effort to chew food, it causes the bone around that area to grow and the nearest teeth start to curve vertically. As a result, a microscopic disconnection forms near the gum and a cavity appears in the tooth. This phenomenon is called abfraction. Because of this damage, the dentin (the solid part of the tooth) is easily irritated and the teeth become more sensitive to temperature change, sweet and sour foods, and also to physical contact (for example with the toothbrush).
Which dental problems have you dealt with and do you have a beautiful smile? Tell us in the comment section!