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BY: Winnie Yu
Clicking might mean that your teeth are not properly aligned. Usually, your teeth come into contact with opposing teeth at the same time and do not click. A click could mean that one tooth is hitting an opposing tooth before the others, which means the alignment, or bite, is off.
Improper alignment often occurs if your teeth are wearing down at differing rates. The rate of teeth wear depends on your diet, stress, enamel strength, and the force and position of your bite. For example, a posterior cross-bite occurs when your top teeth do not properly align with your bottom ones, according to the Australian Society of Orthodontists. This can result in uneven teeth wear and place strain on the jaw joint. Drinking or eating acidic foods, biting with great force or grinding your teeth at night, for instance, can hasten teeth wear.
You may also notice a clicking sound if you have a porcelain crown or filling that’s coming in contact with the same restoration on opposing teeth.
Your dentist can help you determine why your teeth click. It may just be a matter of slightly filing down a tooth. Or, a mouth guard can be prescribed if grinding is causing uneven wear, advises the Australian Dental Association. More severe misalignments often cause pain and require orthodontic treatment.
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