How a Bad Bite Can Impact All Aspects of Your Smile’s Appearance
Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, you might be considering cosmetic dentistry. But there’s an important secret that most dentists either don’t understand or won’t admit about cosmetic dentistry: it all depends on your bite. An unhealthy bite can significantly impact all aspects of your smile’s appearance. You’ll never have a healthy, attractive, long-lasting smile until your bite is fixed.
Here are some of the ways that a bad bite can impact the appearance of your smile.
Teeth Wear and Damage
If you have a bad bite, your teeth are going to experience more damage and wear than if you had a healthy, balanced bite. Your teeth are more likely to be chipped, cracked, or worn.
Healthy, attractive teeth are long and straight, with even bite surfaces as they were supposed to develop. But tooth wear can cause them to get worn down so they gain a stubby appearance. The chips can give them an uneven snaggletoothed appearance.
This may happen evenly across your teeth, but it may also be concentrated in one specific place or on one side of your mouth. This can lead to an uneven slant of your jaw, which angles to one side because the teeth are getting increasingly worn on that side. This is just one of the ways that your bite can impact your overall appearance–not just the appearance of your smile–and it’s part of the reason why a nonsurgical facelift can work so well.
Trying to repair worn or damaged teeth with porcelain veneers or other restorations won’t work unless you fix the bite first. Otherwise, the restorations will chip, break, and wear just like your natural teeth did.
Crooked, Crowded, or Gapped Teeth
By design, your teeth are supposed to be straight. They have straight sides that are supposed to rest against one another to help support one another when dealing with the hard forces of biting and chewing.
So why do some people have crooked teeth? The way your teeth come in is a result of a combination of dynamic forces determined by your jaw muscles and tongue–the muscles rule these interactions, and they will cause your teeth to come in crooked, crowded, or gapped, if they are not properly balanced. Even worse, when your teeth come in like this, they promote the continued malfunction of your jaw muscles, which can continue to drive your teeth out of place.
The problem with much orthodontic work is that it isn’t focused on actually restoring your healthy bite. They just try to make the teeth straight without proper regard for the muscles, which is why much orthodontic work doesn’t actually, well, work. It requires constant maintenance and can sometimes cause as many problems as it solves.
You may think that your bite can’t impact the color of your teeth, but it can. Teeth get stained when staining compounds penetrate into the tooth enamel. But how does it get in there? There is some natural permeability, but this can be exacerbated by the constant forces on the teeth, which can introduce microcracks into the enamel that may not be big enough for you to see, but are big enough to allow stains to seep in.
A bad bite will continue to cause cracking in the teeth, sometimes leading to visible vertical cracks in the teeth called craze lines, which can accumulate stains. Although teeth whitening can brighten teeth, only fixing your bite can help protect teeth from stains.
Long-Lasting Results Depend on a Healthy Bite
Many cosmetic dentists will offer to cover, patch, or remove your teeth in the name of cosmetic dentistry. The goal is to prettify your teeth as they are now. But if you’re looking for a dentist who is truly interested in making a smile that is healthy and beautiful for life, then you need a dentist who is concerned about not just your teeth, but also your bite.
In Nashville, the best dentist who is both a master and teacher of bite science, is Dr. Kent E. White. Please call (615) 383-6787 today for an appointment with Dr. White at the Center for Advanced Dentistry.