Orthodontic issues often go beyond the cosmetic. Many patients who need braces or other corrective appliances have problems that impede their speech, eating, and other habits. Problems with the size of their teeth and their jaw alignment can cause cascading issues if left untreated.
Read on to learn about the most common orthodontic issues, including the oral health problems that can result from them and the treatments available.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
Teeth misalignment can occur as teeth grow in. It can also crop up later in life. This issue can impact your bite as well as your oral hygiene. Here are the most common types of misalignment that you or your child may need orthodontic treatment to address:
Spacing issues commonly result from having a jaw that’s too small or too large to accommodate teeth as they come in. Small or missing teeth can also cause gaps to form that make maintaining good oral hygiene difficult. Many spacing issues can be corrected with conventional braces.
Crowded teeth are a common reason for patients to seek braces. When teeth grow too large for the size of your jaw, they can become crowded. This can lead to teeth becoming impacted and can also make it more difficult to brush and floss. Plaque and tartar can build up as a result.
The upper teeth can protrude horizontally in front of the lower ones. This is called “overjet” and often occurs when the top jaw sticks out too far ahead of the bottom one due to discrepancies in their size. This can also be caused or exacerbated by a bad thumb-sucking habit.
In addition to teeth becoming misaligned, crowded, or out of place, bite issues are common reasons for orthodontic visits.
When the lower teeth stick out in front of the upper teeth, it’s called an underbite. This often results from a large lower jaw and/or a small upper jaw (also known as “malocclusion”).
The reverse of an underbite—where the lower teeth rest too far behind the upper teeth—is called an overbite. It can be so severe that the top teeth occlude the lower ones. This can result in gum and bone damage due to bite issues where the top row of teeth damage the gums below.
Openbite occurs when the lower and upper teeth don’t touch in the front when you bite down. Abnormal jaw development or excessive thumb sucking can cause an openbite. Over time, this causes pressure to be exerted on the back teeth, which wears them down more quickly and leads to problems with the bone and gums.
Crossbite occurs when some or all of the upper teeth close behind the lower teeth when you bite down. When the jaw becomes this misaligned, oral health issues can build up over time, especially as the jaw continues to grow.
Causes and Treatments for Common Orthodontic Problems
Many of the most common orthodontic issues result from natural jaw and teeth development. Discrepancies between the size of the teeth and the available space on the jaw result in many of the more common spacing, crowding, and bite issues. However, excessive thumb and finger sucking are also to blame for a myriad of issues since it affects the palette so early and so often in a child’s development. It can even change the shape of the roof of their mouth, contributing to misalignment.
Thankfully, these common issues have orthodontic solutions. Spacing issues can often be fixed with braces. However, some patients, especially if overcrowding is not an issue, may only need a removable retainer to fix their minor spacing discrepancies. Braces can also address overbites and underbites, though surgery may be necessary in extreme cases.
Other issues call for unique solutions provided by modern orthodontic appliances. For instance, a palatal expander can be used to treat crossbite while a Herbst appliance can correct an overbite by coercing the lower jaw to grow more forward.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
For orthodontic care in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic options can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatments are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible care in your area.