If your teeth are noticeably crooked or crowded, you probably have sought out or thought about seeking out orthodontic treatment to correct the issue. But, what if you have a deep bite? Many people are not aware of what a 'deep bite' is or that it can be a problem, but having a deep bite can cause serious oral health and orthodontic issues that may leave you with severe and painful consequences down the road. Dr. Endsley sees and treats patients with jaw dysfunction caused by a deep bite, such as temporomandibular joint disorder.
What Is a Deep Bite?
A deep bite is a type of malocclusion, or misalignment, of the top and bottom teeth when they close. A deep bite develops when the upper front teeth significantly overlap the bottom front teeth when the mouth is closed.
In many cases, a deep bite is overlooked because it doesn't cause aesthetic issues, but a deep bite can have severe health impacts.
What Causes a Deep Bite?
Three primary factors can contribute to the development of a deep bite. The most common factor is that the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw. A second contributing factor is a missing tooth in the lower jaw, which makes the jaw 'shorter' than the top jaw.
The final factor in having a deep bite is strong biting muscles. This is common among individuals who grind and clench their teeth.
Does a Deep Bite Need to Be Corrected?
The short answer is, yes. Here's why: While a deep bite may not cause issues with your looks, leaving a deep bite uncorrected can cause gradual damage to the lower front teeth. The most significant complication related to a deep bite (or any other type of malocclusion) is stress on the jaw joints. Over time, this stress can cause the temporomandibular joints (the joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull) to become misaligned. This wear and tear on the temporomandibular joints can lead to pain, stiffness, cracking, snapping and popping when eating, chewing, yawning and talking.
The wear and tear can also cause jaw dysfunction, which means your jaw could lock open or closed.
If you're living with a deep bite, or suspect you have a deep bite, call Dr. Endsley now to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Call 254-799-9540 now for a bite consultation or to learn more about the impact of a deep bite on your oral health.