Smile Changers: Why Does Your Dental Bite Matter?
Ever wonder why your dentist makes you bite down on that plastic film after dental work? This plastic film illustrates how you bite with color markings left on your teeth. So what is a “bite” and how is this important to your dental health? Your dental bite, simply put – how your teeth fit together. Your teeth, when you chew naturally, should easily fit together and comfortably. Think of your ‘bite’ as the parts of an engine that work to break up food. If one part starts to wear or break down, others are soon to follow.
The traditional symptoms people experience when their ‘bite” is off are a sore jaw, neck pain, more tooth wear on a tooth or side, and even headaches. It is important to remember that, just like the rest of your body, your bite changes over time. From childhood into your 30’s, bite issues tend to be more cosmetic and are treated by orthodontics. From your 30’s to your 50’s, patients begin to show wear from grinding on their teeth. This can result in some teeth being smaller, shorter and potentially weaker than others and should be addressed by your dental team. More often than not these changes really impact the smile and make patients look older.
Example 1: This patient felt his smile made him look old.
A patient having a smile they want is key to Dr. Cummings and his team. Every patient goes through a patient history and exam – whether it is your first visit or you are a long-term patient. By checking your bite and asking about changes or symptoms you may be experiencing Dr. Cummings and his team can keep your mouth healthy, smile ‘happy’ and pain-free! Whether it is as simple as a mouthguard, from their in-house lab, or a full mouth reconstruction (See Example 2), you can trust that Dr. Cummings will provide a thorough examination of all the factors to provide you the ‘smile makeover’ you want and deserve.
Example 2: This patient’s treatment plan could require a mouthguard or a full smile restoration depending on his smile makeover expectations.