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The Clench Test: How to Identify a Bad Bite

Do you have a problem with your bite? Do you have a bad bite? How can you know? There are different ways in which the problems of your bite get your attention. Some bite problems will cause discomfort or even pain, and that pain can masquerade as problems that you may not readily associate with your teeth. Some bite problems don't cause pain or discomfort but they still can cause major damage to your teeth.

There are some pretty simple ways that anyone can detect when a problem with the bite is causing or at least contributing to pain or discomfort.

Clench test for bad bite

The clench test: Without anything in your mouth, close your teeth together and squeeze hard. If this clenching your teeth together causes discomfort in any tooth, you may have a disharmony in your bite.

If any one tooth or part of a tooth hits before the rest of the teeth during closure, teeth can become sensitive to cold from that extra pounding that they take. Bite together slowly. Do your teeth come together all at the same time? If not, that one spot that is hitting first can easily cause extra sensitivity. Squeeze hard. If you can make any tooth hurt by clenching, the bite is probably the main reason for the sensitivity. This is a good way to find out if a new filling or crown is "high." If it hurts when you clench, it is probably not in perfect harmony with a correct bite. You should be able to bite hard and grind your teeth together in all directions without feeling discomfort in any tooth if your bite is perfect. The exception to this is if you have advanced periodontal disease, you may have several teeth that can't accept firm biting, but even then, you should not normally feel pain in a single tooth when biting.

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