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What Can Cause Your Bite to Change?

Does your bite seem different lately? If your teeth don’t fit together comfortably, they might have shifted positions. It’s important to fix a misaligned bite as soon as possible to prevent tooth decay and painful TMJ disorders. Several factors can cause your bite to change over time—here’s a list of reasons that could explain why your bite is off.

Why Is My Bite Off? 5 Things That Can Cause Your Bite to Change

1: Missing Teeth

Tooth decay, gum disease, and injuries to the mouth can all cause tooth loss. But no matter the cause, failing to replace the missing tooth soon enough can cause your bite to change. When there’s an empty space, your other teeth will begin to shift to fill the gap. 

And, without stimulation from the tooth root, bone resorption can start to occur. Resorption is your body’s process of breaking down unused bone tissue in one part of the body and redistributing it to other parts. This process changes the appearance of your jaw and alters your bite. It also makes the jawbone weak, which can make it difficult to support teeth and lead to further tooth loss. 

2: Gum Disease

A buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth can cause the chronic infection known as periodontitis, or gum disease. Tooth loss from advanced gum disease can eventually cause your bite to change. You can prevent tooth loss by getting treatment as soon as you notice any signs of gum disease, such as bleeding, tender, inflamed, or receding gums. 

3: Natural Effects of Aging

As you age, the bone structure of your face naturally changes. This is because the jaw gradually shifts forward, altering the angle of your jawline. The pressure from this change can cause your teeth to shift and affect your bite. People also become more prone to bone loss from osteoporosis as they grow older. Like bone resorption, this condition weakens your jaw, leading to missing and shifting teeth. 

4: Not Wearing Retainers After Teeth Straightening

It may seem like a chore, but it’s vital that you wear your retainers for as long as instructed after an orthodontic treatment. If not, your teeth will soon start to shift back to their old positions. If you don’t wear your retainer, you may need to get a second set of braces or additional Invisalign treatments to straighten your teeth again

5: Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can happen when you’re stressed or even while you sleep. The pressure and friction from bruxism flattens your teeth, which can affect how they touch when you bite. 

Grinding your teeth also leads to TMJ disorders, loose teeth, and chipped or cracked teeth. You can prevent bite problems from bruxism by wearing a mouthguard at night and reducing stress to minimize grinding. 

How to Fix a Bite That Is Off

You will need to undergo teeth straightening treatment in order to get your bite back to normal. Invisalign can treat minor misalignments, but more extreme cases require traditional braces. 

Invisalign treatment involves wearing a series of custom-fitting clear aligners to shift your teeth into the correct positions. With traditional braces, metal wires and brackets are attached to your teeth and tightened every so often to align your teeth. Both types of treatment may involve rubber bands to help reposition your jaw alignment. 

You will also need to seek treatment for issues like gum disease and bruxism, replace any missing teeth, and wear your retainers regularly to prevent your bite from changing again. 

Invisalign Treatment in Gilbert, Arizona

If your bite has changed over time, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign. At Lifetime Family Dental, Invisalign is just one of the many ways we can transform your smile. We can also replace missing teeth with dental implants or bridges, and treat gum disease in its various stages. To determine which treatments you need to fix your bite, call us at 480-558-4331 to schedule a consultation. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/13/2022). Photo by LOGAN WEAVER | @LGNWVR on Unsplash