Maintaining good oral health involves more than the regular brushing and flossing of teeth. It requires you to understand the various components of good oral health including the importance of having the right bite. Many people often don't pay attention to this aspect of their oral health status.

This article discusses three things you should know about your bite.

How To Test For An Improper Bite

In the ideal situation, there should be an even and bilateral contact between the upper jaw and the lower jaw whenever you're chewing food. Such contact should be bilateral and even so that the pressure exerted on teeth (which might run into hundreds of pounds for every square inch) is evenly distributed across all of your teeth. This gives you a stable bite.

Testing whether your bite is proper is a relatively simple exercise. Be keen the next time you're eating and observe whether both sides of your mouth touch down at the same time as you continue to chew.  An improper bite will make one side touch down before the other.

Causes And Effects Of An Improper Bite

Various factors may contribute to you having an improper bite. For example, the improper installation of dental crowns and/or fillings can leave one side of your mouth higher than the other, and this is likely to interfere with your normal bite. Dental crowns may also shift position within the mouth after you've had them for some time, thereby creating fertile ground for an improper bite.

Malocclusion (an improper bite) is also known to be hereditary. Thus, your bite-related problems might not even be your fault.

Regardless of the cause, an improper bite can lead to more serious dental problems. These include, but they're not limited to, the following:

  • Excessive and uneven wearing of teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Misaligned teeth and painful jaws
  • Fractured teeth
  • Involuntary loss of teeth

This is in addition to the personal discomfort you're likely to experience every time you chew on something.

Corrective Measures For An Improper Bite

Unlike many other dental problems (e.g. discoloured teeth), there are no DIY remedies for an improper bite. You need to schedule an appointment with an orthodontic health practitioner who will advise on the best way to correct the improper bite.

Corrective measures that the orthodontist will recommend often depend on the cause of the improper bite. For example, ill-fitting dental crowns will need to be adjusted or replaced with new ones. If you inherited the bad bite, the orthodontist might suggest that you use veneers, invisalign or traditional braces as a corrective measure.