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How Our Mouth Bite Changes Throughout Adulthood

Woman with painful bite

Whenever we look at younger photos of ourselves, we may notice how some of our essential features, such as our eyes, nose, and lips, change to accommodate for our growth into adulthood. Our facial features continue to change throughout our lives, and while each of us ages at different rates, our facial physiology plays an essential role in the early stages of our bite development. For orthodontists and pediatric dentists, our bite is a considerable part of oral health, and when our bites change, so do our tooth movement. Drastic, adverse changes in our bite can bring about the risk of dental problems such as malocclusion and dental cavities, and it’s essential to understand how our bites affect our oral health and how your dentist can help.

How Our Bites Changes and Affect Our Oral Health

Our teeth develop long before we are ever born, beginning during the fetus stages of development from the nutrition provided by our mothers during pregnancy. Diets that have adequate amounts of vitamin D, C, phosphorus, and calcium help contribute to our tooth development during this stage. From there, the hard tissues that consist of the enamel develop during the first three to four months of gestation, and once the child is born, the teeth then begin to protrude through the gum, and we develop what’s commonly known as our primary “baby” teeth.

From there, as we age, we begin to lose our baby teeth to adjust for our change in growth, and during this time, it is vital for children between the ages of 6 and 12 to be careful with how they care for their teeth. Habits such as thumbsucking, poor brushing habits, and teeth grinding can ultimately change how our mouth is shaped over time, and more often than not, our bite has a significant impact on how our facial features develop as we get older.

But for adults, various diseases and disorders that affect the jawbone, teeth, and gums can change drastically over time and cause problems with jaw alignment and oral health. These problems most often include:

  • Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease is considered one of the most harmful diseases to our mouths, not only because of its attack on the gum tissues but also because when it progresses enough can attack the jawbone and teeth, causing bone degradation and severe tooth decay.
  • Wisdom Teeth Growth: If wisdom teeth have not been removed by the time you’re an adult, your wisdom teeth can change how your bite functions, causing irregularities in jaw movement and can even cause the jaw hinges to click and pop when moved.
  • Jaw Arthritis: For those with disorders such as TMJ disorder or arthritis, the jaw hinges can wear down over time and lead to tooth grinding and poor jaw alignment overall.

Your bite alignment is vital for your overall dental health and is especially vital from birth to adulthood that your oral health gets the care you need to have a healthier smile. For more information about how your bite alignment changes over time, the best place to receive that information is through a visit with your local primary dentist.

Dr. Karmen Massih Inspired by orthodontics at the age of 10, Dr. Karmen Massih earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at UCLA's School of Dentistry. After earning her certificates in orthodontics at the University of Pittsburgh, she returned to her hometown of Glendale, CA, to begin Massih Orthodontics, a practice dedicated to transforming smiles for people of all ages.