Many people joke about not being able to open or close their mouths properly, but there are adults who have constant, chronic issues with their bites- approximately 10 million Americans suffer from jaw or bite issues. If you are one of those people that is having difficulty biting down, here are some reasons your jaws may not be working the right way.
Both children and adults can suffer from malocclusion- which means bite problems. There are several types of bite issues. You may have an overbite, which means your top teeth come down too far over your lower teeth. You could also have an underbite, which means your top teeth rest inside your lower teeth when you bite down. Many people, especially people who sucked on their thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers as children may have a crossbite. Crossbites happen when the top and bottom teeth do not come together properly. Some of your top teeth may sit inside your bottom teeth while other teeth sit outside your bottom teeth.
While any of these malocclusions can cause problems, crossbites tend to cause the most issues with biting down. Luckily, you can get your bite looked at and treated by a dentist. Even the worst kinds of crossbites can be treated with braces, and some malocclusions can be treated with dental aligners. Once your treatment is complete, you'll be able to bite down with ease.
You may also be experiencing bite issues due to pain at the jaw joint. Often, pain in the temporomandibular joint, or jaw joint, can cause you to have difficulties opening and closing your mouth, and you may feel pain while biting down or chewing. Sometimes, TMJ pain can be treated with dental guards that you can wear while you are sleeping. That's because a lot of jaw pain comes from bruxism, which means you are clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth at night. With night guards, the pain and inflammation of your jaw joint should decrease.