Magazine article USA TODAY

A Bad Bite Is Not Only about Your Smile

Magazine article USA TODAY

A Bad Bite Is Not Only about Your Smile

Article excerpt

A bad bite leads to more than a reluctance to smile, maintains orthodontist Jamie Reynolds, author of World Class Smiles Made in Detroit, who points out a few of the long-term consequences when teeth do not line up right:

* Tooth pain. A bite that is off can cause discomfort, while improperly adjusted dental work can irritate a nerve. Tooth pain usually occurs quickly. It is important to have the eventual position of the tooth corrected to prevent long-term issues.

* Jaw-joint pain. The jaw joint is made up of two bony parts: the temporal bone in the skull and the lower jaw (mandible). Put the temporal bone and the mandible together and you get the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Occasionally, trauma to the joint can create a crackling or popping sound when you open or close your jaw. For most people, that is no big deal but, if you have a hard time opening your jaw, cannot open it at all, or have significant pain during jaw movement, you should be evaluated for TMJ problems. …

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