Commonly Treated Orthodontic Problems
Malocclusion (literally meaning “bad bite”) is the number one reason people seek orthodontic treatment. There are many different forms of malocclusion, such as:
- Crowding: Crowding can cause poor jaw alignment, impacted teeth, or teeth growing behind or in front of one another, resulting in poor biting relationships and undesirable appearance. Crowding only gets worse over time. Crowded teeth are harder to clean then straight teeth, which may lead to cavities and tooth decay.
- Overjet or protruding upper teeth: When the upper front teeth stick out too far forward, or the lower teeth don’t extend enough this is called protrusion. Thumb and finger sucking habits can also cause a protrusion of the upper front teeth. Significant dental protrusion can cause speech and chewing problems and can be unsightly.
- Deep overbite: A deep overbite or deep bite occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. A deep bite can contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth, bone and gum tissue damage.
- Open bite: An open bite results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space causes all the chewing pressure to be placed on the back teeth. This excessive biting pressure and rubbing together of the back teeth makes chewing less efficient which can lead to digestive problems and significant tooth wear.
- Spacing: Spacing is too much room between the teeth. Spacing can occur if teeth are missing, small, or if the dental arches are wide. The most common complaint from patients with excessive spacing is cosmetic. Closure of dental spacing not only improves the look of the front teeth but it also prevents “food traps” from developing between the back teeth.
- Crossbite: A crossbite exists when the upper teeth in the back are fitting on the inside of the lower teeth. This is often caused by the upper jaw being too narrow. Correction of this situation is important at a young age so that the upper jaw continues to grow properly. Expanders are usually used to correct this, and give excellent results.
- Underbite or lower jaw protrusion: An underbite exists when the top front teeth are hitting behind the bottom front teeth. Underbites are best treated at a young age so that the upper jaw continues to grow properly.
Orthodontic treatment is a viable option to correct these malocclusions. If you think, you or your child has developed any of these bite problems, now is the time to start looking for orthodontists.
If you are interested in learning more about braces, or about your specific orthodontic needs, call to schedule a consultation appointment.