What Your Bite May Tell You About Your Future Health

When the mouth or teeth are out of alignment, there are some obvious byproducts that include difficulty chewing, abnormal appearance, and even speaking could be complicated. When it is difficult to keep the teeth clean, there is also a propensity for cavities and gum disease. New research reveals, however, that there could be more implications than oral health alone.

Crooked Bite May Indicate Early Life Stress | Dentistry Today

“Asymmetries in the skull and teeth have been used for decades by anthropologists to mark environmental stress, but they have only rarely been used in living populations,” said Philippe Hujoel, DDS, PhD, MSD, MS, a professor at the University of Washington (UW) School of Dentistry. In a crooked or asymmetric bite, the teeth bite backward or forward on one side of the face and normally on the other side. Crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are different from asymmetric bites, Hujoel added. These conditions can be associated with asymmetric and symmetric bites, the latter of which is largely a reflection of genetics, not environmental stress, Hujoel explained

The study found that one in 4 adolescents had lower-face asymmetries.

The first 1,000 days after conception strongly influence life expectancy and susceptibility to chronic diseases, according to the UW School of Dentistry. For example, low birthweight often is used to identify early life stress and indicate poor nutrition during pregnancy. Now, researchers at the university report that an asymmetric lower face can capture early life stresses that occur after birth.


While some cases are inherited traits, and not resulting from environmental factors, such as an accident, thumb sucking, early loss of teeth or tumors, there are treatment opportunities available to correct the problem. At the C R Dental Group, experienced dentists Dr. James Reisman, voted a Best Dentist in Dallas, and Dr. Jordana Contrucci are able to consult and treatment plan viable options for those suffering with misaligned or malformed bites. They encourage patients to seek professional guidance as early as possible. The sooner a diagnosis and treatment plan is made, the better opportunity for long-term success.