Do you struggle chewing food? Maybe you’ve started grinding your teeth at night. Both are signs you have a misaligned bite.

You’re not alone. About 20% of the population has deviations from the ideal bite relationship. These irregularities are severe enough in 15% of people that they affect functionality and social acceptability. 

A misaligned bite can affect your health and happiness. Read on to learn more about the dangers of alignment issues today. 

Dangers of an Improperly Positioned Bite

Misalignments (malocclusions) are also called:

  • Open bites
  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crossbites

Your teeth should fit easily within your mouth without spacing or crowding issues. Many alignment issues are inherited. However, conditions and habits can also cause malocclusions, such as:

  • Atypically shaped teeth
  • Tumors in the mouth or jaw
  • Airway obstruction
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Use of a pacifier after age three
  • Prolonged use of a bottle
  • Injuries
  • Thumb sucking early in childhood

These habits and conditions can cause an improper alignment of your teeth. You may notice changes in your facial structure or experience discomfort when chewing. Here are a few problems you may experience if you have a misaligned bite. 

Plaque Formation

An improperly positioned bite could make it more difficult for you to brush and floss your teeth. When you fail to thoroughly brush and floss, bacteria and food particles can mix together. Plaque, a tacky and clear substance, will cling to your teeth.

When left unattended, plaque can cause cavities or gingivitis. Your risk of losing a tooth will increase.

Other common oral health issues associated with misaligned teeth include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Enamel damage
  • Uneven tooth wear

Make sure to schedule routine appointments at your dentist’s office. Check-ups every six months will allow your dentist to spot signs of these issues. They’ll ensure you begin treatment before these compromise your overall health.

For example, you could develop a tooth abscess. The infection could spread through your bloodstream.

Gingivitis increases your risk of lung disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Beginning treatment before gum disease progresses is crucial. 

Speech Changes

A malocclusion can make it more difficult for you to pronounce certain words or sounds. You may experience problems communicating. Changes to your speech patterns could affect your social interactions.

You may start feeling uncomfortable in social settings. Your self-esteem and confidence could plummet. 

If you’ve noticed changes to your speech patterns, talk to your orthodontist. They can recommend treatment options to improve your bite and smile. Having a beautiful, aligned smile can boost your self-confidence. 

Difficulty Chewing Food

Your improperly positioned bite can make chewing food more difficult. You may start removing foods from your diet. Your likelihood of developing a vitamin deficiency will increase.

Instead of cutting foods from your diet, talk to an orthodontist. Beginning treatment will ensure you eat nutritious foods you love. Otherwise, you may notice changes to your weight and appearance. 

Digestive Problems

If you’re not thoroughly chewing food, your digestive system will need to work harder to break large food chunks down. You may begin experiencing digestive problems, including gas, acid reflux, and stomachaches. 

Your body will have a difficult time absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat. Beginning treatment can help you avoid these digestive issues. 

Psychological Impact

Have you started hiding your smile when you’re around other people? An unappealing smile can affect your confidence and self-worth. Insecurities about your appearance can cause psychological strain.

Treatment Options

If the above symptoms sound familiar, don’t wait to seek orthodontic treatment. Beginning treatment right away will benefit your oral health and quality of life. Here are a few treatment options your orthodontist may recommend. 

Traditional Braces

When people imagine orthodontic treatment, they’re picturing traditional metal braces. These appliances use metal wires, brackets, and elastic bands. Over time, these components will exert pressure against your teeth to move them gradually.

After receiving treatment, you’ll wear retainers to keep your teeth from shifting back. You may need to wear your aligners at night for two to three years. 

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are custom-made orthodontic devices. They appear similar to retainers and fit over your teeth. Over time, the aligners will bring your teeth into proper alignment.

Common brands of clear aligners include Invisalign and Byte. You’ll wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day while receiving treatment. After treatment, you’ll wear a retainer to maintain your results. 

A Jaw Expander

Your orthodontist may recommend a palate or jaw extender. This oral device can widen your narrow upper jaw. This treatment is ideal for patients with crossbite or overcrowded teeth.


In severe cases, professionals will recommend surgical intervention. Orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) can correct variations in the size or location of your jaw. Surgery could improve your function and appearance. 

Dental Crowns and Bridges

In some cases, tooth loss can cause bite issues. Your dentist may recommend dental crowns or bridges.

If you lost a tooth, your dentist can replace it at the root with a dental implant. They’ll surgically place the implant into your jawbone. Once the implant is secure, they’ll place a crown atop the implant.

Crowns and bridges can replace your missing teeth. They’ll help you maintain proper spacing and alignment. Otherwise, your remaining teeth will shift toward the gap, causing more alignment issues. 

Behavioral Modification

Remember, certain behaviors during childhood could lead a patient to develop a malocclusion. If you have children, modify their behaviors. Keep them from sucking a thumb or pacifier.

Make sure your child visits their dentist every six months. Leverage their experience and expertise to ensure your child avoids bite issues. 

Treat Your Misaligned Bite Today

Don’t let a misaligned bite affect your health or happiness. Instead, talk to your orthodontist to determine the best course of treatment based on your needs. With their help, you can improve the appearance and functionality of your smile. 

Our mission at Sencak Orthodontics is to create a smile you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life. We offer individualized care to meet each patient’s unique needs. 

Rely on our state-of-the-art technology and range of orthodontic treatment options. Contact us today to schedule your consultation appointment.