Have you ever bitten down and felt like your teeth aren’t lining up the way they used to? Or have you ever been surprised to discover that your back teeth don’t meet up anymore when you clench your jaw? These are indicators that your bite has changed. Your bite is the term for the position of your upper and lower teeth when you close your mouth and bring your upper and lower jaw together. The alignment of your bite is important as far as your ability to speak and chew food, but it’s also important for your overall dental health. Persons with a severe underbite or overbite get important treatment to remedy the situation. If your bite has changed, you will also need to get dental treatment. Here are some reasons why your bite may have changed.
Periodontal disease is a very serious condition in which the mouth is overrun by bacteria, gum tissues have loosened away from the edges of the teeth, and bone loss may have occurred. Due to the extreme nature of periodontal disease and its way of loosening teeth, the bite is usually affected as well. If you feel that you have one or more loose teeth and your bite has changed, see your dentist right away to find out if you have developed periodontal disease.
If you’re an older adult with relatively healthy teeth and gums but your bite has changed, your jaw hinges may be wearing down. Don’t worry – this happens to many people as they age. Certain other conditions can speed up this process, such as arthritis and grinding the teeth at night. Your dentist can do some diagnostic tests to determine if this is the cause, and recommend treatment options for you.
If you’re a younger adult, you might experience a change in your bite when your wisdom teeth grow in. As you can imagine, room must be made for more teeth at the back of your mouth. The change should be subtle, but if it’s not, or if it’s causing a problem, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
If you notice that your bite has changed, don’t try to figure out the reason by yourself. Make a dentist appointment so you can get a professional opinion on the cause, as well as available treatment options.