Dental Conditions and Orthodontic Issues that Warrant Braces

Updated on: September 9, 2021

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 braces or Invisalign treatment:

Tooth Misalignment

Tooth misalignment is extremely common for people of all ages. Not only can teeth be misaligned in the same area of the mouth, such as the lower right back jaw area, but the top and bottom teeth can get out of alignment.

This can lead to problems like an overbite, open bite, crossbite, or underbite. Dental midlines unmatched in a person’s mouth can cause discomfort when eating and an uneven smile. Many of these conditions can be improved by treatment with braces.

Open bite

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. 

Overbite

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 create issues with speech, damage to the teeth, pain in the jaw, and can make eating difficult. The aging process can worsen this condition. It is common for older patients to have slurred speech in severe cases.

Underbite

An underbite is the complete opposite of an overbite. When the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw, the lower front teeth protrude in front of the upper front teeth. 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. Chewing can be difficult for those with an underbite due to the misalignment in the jaw structure.

Crossbite

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.

Crowding

Crowding occurs because of a disproportionate tooth-to jaw size relationship. 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.

Spacing

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 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.

Protrusions

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.

Impacted teeth

When a permanent tooth cannot grow into its normal position, it becomes impacted. The tooth remains stuck in the gum and may cause pain or damage to the tooth’s root. These teeth usually need immediate attention to avoid root damage.

With today’s technology, there are more options for orthodontic repair than ever before. Often, traditional braces with noticeable wire and metal brackets can be avoided. Invisalign, SmyleAlign, and Invisalign Teen are completely invisible options that allow you to have all of your favorite foods during treatment. Damon and Insignia systems have discreet comfortable options that are easy to wear. For more detailed information about orthodontic treatment, contact Ghosh Orthodontics and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at our Allentown or Pottsville office.

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