I got braces on my lower teeth, and my orthodontist placed a bite block on the right side jaw, causing discomfort and speech problems. Is it normal to have a bite block only on one side?

Q. Can bite blocks be placed only on one side of the mouth?

Answered by
Dr. Mayank Khandelwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 16, 2023 and last reviewed on: Jul 31, 2023

Hello doctor,

Yesterday, the dentist put braces on my lower teeth. Unfortunately, one of my lower teeth hit on my upper teeth. For that, the doctor inserted a bite block. It is understandable, but he only put a bite block on the right side, leaving me to chew on the left side. There are discomfort and speech problems, and I worry that it will affect my muscles and chewing even after the bite block is removed. Is it normal to place a bite block only on the right side of the jaw? My jaws meet only on the right side. My doctor said he did not insert a bite block on both sides to avoid complications.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and can understand your concern. No, it is not normal to place bite blocks on only one side of the mouth. At times when only one tooth requires some separation, we should still fix bite blocks on both sides to provide balance and maintain the integrity of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Not putting the bite block on both sides is actually creating a complication. You are already facing them. When there is only one point of contact, chewing becomes difficult, and speech is affected. In the longer run, that particular side cheek muscles will tend to contract stronger as they do not get the feel of a normal bite because of only one-point contact rather than whole-area contact. As they start contracting harder, you might end up with TMJ soreness and pain along with teeth surface attrition. Ask the treating doctor to put a minimal amount of bite block (for therapeutic purposes) on the other side and get similar heights. Once the bite block is placed, bite gently onto it and ask for height adjustment based on your bite feel. Hope this helps. Thank you and take care.

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