Common Orthodontic Problems
The clinical practice of orthodontics serves to correct various dental issues by manipulating the orientation of teeth concerning the jaws and face. At its basics, orthodontics aims to promote ideal function by ensuring both upper and lower jaws and teeth occlude (come together) in harmony.
People with untreated orthodontic issues can develop speech difficulties, cause premature wear of their protective enamel, and even increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joints.
The following common orthodontic problems can be diagnosed and treated at Daia Orthodontics & TMJ Orthopedics.
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends outward, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper teeth. While some underbites are more severe than others, any underbite will adversely affect your health. This condition can cause damage to your front teeth, making them prone to cracking or breaking from the constant pressure. Additionally, underbites can activate temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), causing pain and difficulty sleeping.
Many individuals have difficulty with the natural spacing of their teeth. A smile full of gaps is more likely to develop gingivitis or periodontal disease, as food is easily caught between the teeth. When left in the gum tissue, old food debris, and bacteria attack the gum tissue and underlying bone, effectively damaging the tissue.
Once the bone surrounding your teeth is damaged, there is little modern dentistry can do to replace it. Without the supporting bone tissue to hold them in place, your teeth become mobile and prone to falling out. This is only if periodontal disease is left untreated, typically in older age. However, addressing the gaps in your smile is a reliable way to avoid the potential threat and address the aesthetics of a well-aligned smile.
Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
Like other forms of malocclusion (misaligned bite), these protruded teeth don’t meet their corresponding lower teeth in a comfortable bite. Fortunately, this issue is easily corrected through orthodontics.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Teeth grow crooked, obtruding on other teeth causing hygienic issues, as the teeth are more difficult to floss and brush effectively.
In previous years, orthodontists would extract specific teeth (typically premolars) to create more space to allow orthodontic movement. Today, crowding can often be corrected by an expansion of the jaws using expanders, and in many cases, tooth removal can be avoided.
In a crossbite, the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification (cracked teeth) and misaligned jaw growth. In addition to an uneven bite, crossbites can cause breathing issues.
In an overbite, the upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. This irregular bite endangers the affected teeth and makes them prone to chipping and breaking. If left untreated, overbites can lead to issues with the temporomandibular joint causing pain and discomfort referred to as TMJ or TMD.
Open bites may be caused by habits formed in childhood, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, where sucking pulls the teeth out in a forward motion.
A smile has two midlines: one between the central incisors (your upper front teeth) and one between the prominent lower teeth. When the midlines are not aligned, there is an indication that the bite is not coming together correctly, and treatment is necessary. Correcting midlines is easily accomplished with orthodontic treatment.