Hello! I’m Dr. Gordon West of Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette. I have been practicing quality general and cosmetic dentistry since 1998. Today’s post focuses on malocclusion, or bad bite.
Malocclusion is the dental term for a problem in the way your top and bottom teeth come together. The ideal bite is when the upper teeth are slightly forward of the lower teeth. You have probably heard of “overbites” and “underbites” but the two arches can be misaligned in many other ways as well. Crowded teeth can also cause a bad bite, as well as the opposite situation – teeth that are too far apart.
If the misalignment is very slight, there are often no related problems. However, if the malocclusion is moderate to severe, the patient is at risk for many other health issues such as difficulty chewing and speaking, headaches, hearing problems, increased decay, jaw pain, and gum disease.
The domino effect of these troubles can get pretty serious. For example, chewing difficulty can trigger ulcers, and gum disease increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Consider also how these problems can impact a patient’s emotional well-being and capacity to perform their job.
Putting health issues aside, these problems can get pretty costly to treat.
There are several effective treatments for malocclusion, but first you need a diagnosis. If you suspect that you have a misaligned bite, I hope this post has given you some good reasons to meet with Dr. Gordon West. Call 303-665-5335 to schedule a consultation and exam.