Why it is Important to Choose the Correct Bite?
In dental terms, your ‘bite’ or ‘occlusion’ refers to the way your upper and lower teeth come together when you chew, swallow or are resting.
Even though you may not be aware of it, every time you close your mouth, it closes to the same position. This is the point where your teeth fit together best. Whether it’s a good fit or a bad fit, you close to this position because it provides your jaw with the best available support and stability. Closing to this position is an automatic response that occurs without thinking.
Unlike the other joint systems in the body, which all have just two components (the joint and the muscles that move the joint), your jaw has three components that interact with each other. They are:
- the temporomandibular (jaw) joint (TMJ)
- the jaw muscles
- the teeth
If your bite doesn’t provide good support and stability to the jaw, your TMJ and its associated muscles and soft tissue are placed under stress. Over time, this can result in pain and dysfunction that impacts different areas of the body – not just your mouth and jaws.
Part of the reason for this, is that a number of muscles groups are involved with the different ways we use the jaw. For example, when you open your jaw, you are using muscles that are located in your neck. In contrast, the muscles that hold your jaw and prevent it from falling open extend through the cheeks and up toward your forehead. Similarly, the muscles used for chewing are in the cheek area. (When you eat something tough, or put too much food into the mouth at once, it’s not uncommon to end up with aching cheeks.)
The more support and stability your bite offers to your jaw, the less stress you place on the TMJ and muscles.