Westpark Helpful Dental Articles

Dr. Brian Gallagher Explains the Importance of Having a Proper Bite

The reason it is so important for a patient to have a proper bite is that certain teeth are meant to do certain things, and when they are asked to go beyond their intended function, there can be problems with teeth breaking. The way that a tooth is asked to do more than it was meant to do is when there is not a proper bite and a tooth takes on the weight load, bite and tear pressure meant for another tooth in the mouth. Some teeth are not built to withstand the pressures of certain movements.

For example teeth in the front of the mouth are used to tear food, while teeth in the back are designed to grind food. When teeth are missing, misaligned, or when the bite is unbalanced, chewing forces become unequally distributed. Although the body adapts to the new situation, there are consequences.

The problems that can result from a bite that is unbalanced include TMJ pain or muscle pain, which can lead to headaches and other issues that greatly affect quality of life. If a patient has an improper bite they will not be able to chew their food properly or eat certain foods, and that impacts the way they live their lives and the way they will feel about their teeth on a daily basis.

If teeth are moving and shifting over time it can become difficult for the patient to clean and floss teeth, and food can begin to get stuck where previously the patient could simply chew without concern. When a person loses the ability to use a back tooth for chewing, they begin to chew on their front teeth to compensate. There is a cascading effect of problems that can arise when teeth begin breaking down because their functions have shifted.

In our practice, we always evaluate the patient’s bite to help solve small problems before they become big problems for the patient.

Dr. Brian Gallagher
West Park Dental
Cleveland, OH

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Posted 01/18/2021

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