Orthodontic Issues that Braces Can Correct
There are very few people who are born with a perfect smile. It is important to remember that having orthodontic issues fixed is not just cosmetic. Straight teeth are beautiful, but a large role of orthodontic treatment is to fix medical issues that can lead to jaw misalignment, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Dental issues that impact your appearance can be addressed through a treatment plan prescribed by an orthodontist. There are a number of common problems that can be fixed through wearing braces or undergoing Invisalign treatment. Learn about some of the most common signs that you need braces:
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt. Extraction of baby and or adult teeth may be indicated to relieve severe crowding.
Crowding can happen because of a disproportionate tooth-to-jaw size ratio. When teeth have insufficient space to grow they become crowded. This can result in teeth rotating to fit into the space or overlapping surrounding teeth.
If left untreated, crowding can lead to gum disease over time, bacterial problems in the mouth, tooth decay, and damage to the jaw joints. This type of malocclusion can often be treated by expansion without tooth loss.
Misaligned teeth can create gaps, but spacing issues can also stem from deformed teeth. Missing teeth often cause spacing. Other causes include small teeth or a tongue that pushes against the teeth.
Many people also have teeth that have become tilted or twisted. Some teeth may shift over time. In extreme cases, teeth that become loosened due to gaps caused by missing teeth or uneven dental spacing can fall out.
If there are large spaces between teeth, there can be an increased risk of bacteria and plaque, leading to premature tooth decay. Those with spacing issues can also have a hard time chewing, talking, and biting into hard foods. If spacing issues are left untreated, gaps between teeth may cause the remaining teeth to drift, compounding the problem.
Fortunately, most modern treatment plans offer individualized approaches to fill unsightly gaps and move teeth into better positions to help them remain upright.
If someone has an open bite, their top and bottom front teeth do not overlap because they are slanted forward. Open bites are a type of malocclusion that occurs in only 0.6% of the United States population.
This issue often occurs through habits like thumb sucking or breathing with the mouth open, but it can also be genetically passed through generations.
When you suffer from upper front teeth protrusion or a condition where the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth, it is called an overbite. Sometimes, the bottom teeth can even bite into the roof of the mouth causing gum damage. Most people have a very slight overbite meaning that their top teeth will overlap their lower teeth a bit.
This type of malocclusion can result in jaw pain due to strained muscles. People with an overbite are also more prone to TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDERS (TMJ).
Overbites can damage the teeth, cause pain in the jaw and make talking difficult. Overbites can also cause uneven wear of the lower teeth. The aging process can worsen this condition. It is common for older patients to have slurred speech in severe cases.
An underbite is the complete opposite of an overbite. An underbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. Roughly 10% of people suffer from underbites, and it is a problem that can be treated easiest when caught early on in a person’s life.
It can cause premature tooth wear when left untreated, especially on the front teeth. The front teeth can easily be chipped or broken while doing simple tasks like eating. It can be difficult to chew if you have an underbite due to the misalignment in the jaw structure.
A crossbite is when the upper back teeth bite incorrectly inside the lower back teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites can also occur with the front teeth. Crossbites occur when the upper teeth do not align correctly with the corresponding lower teeth and the upper set of teeth can fit inside of the lower set of teeth. This can cause significant spaces between the upper and lower jaws.
The problem may include one or many groups of teeth. Sometimes, the front teeth are the only teeth affected. Other cases are just because of misalignment with the back teeth. In extreme cases, all of the teeth are misaligned.
Without treatment, patients could experience jaw misalignment, gum disease, bone loss, or wearing down of the teeth and pain.
Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
Is characterized by the upper front teeth protruding (sticking out) beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth. Or the lower front teeth not extending far enough.
Dental protrusions are categorized as the upper teeth protruding forward, hanging over the bottom teeth, and in some cases, in front of the bottom teeth. Protrusions include issues like overbites, buck teeth, and overjets where there is an angular slant to the upper teeth.
Patients with upper front teeth protrusion often seek treatment to correct the unsightly problem, feeling self-conscious and sometimes unattractive. Teens and professional adults alike are among the customers who wear dental braces to correct the overbite or other alignment issues associated with this condition. Bringing upper and lower teeth into alignment improves the patient’s overall facial structure and builds confidence in personal appearance.
Many times, patients have congenitally missing teeth or teeth that were lost due to injuries or disease. The space caused by the missing teeth can either be closed or opened for future restoration, depending on your diagnosis.
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