Discrepancies among Jaw and tooth sizes, as well as certain abnormalities or irregularities with your facial features, are typically treated by specialists in orthodontic dentistry.
The most common problems treated by orthodontists are related to open-bites and deep-bites. A bad bite is an improper relationship between your upper and lower teeth; crooked or crowded teeth are often the culprit. This is also called a “malocclusion.” A malocclusion, which can happen over time or is inherited, can be treated with such dental appliances as braces, which are designed to restore your oral features (jaws, teeth and lips) into their proper balance. Moreover, bite problems can have an impact on your overall appearance.
Acquired malocclusions can be multifactorial, including disease, thumb-sucking as a child, premature loss of teeth, an injury, or obstructive tissues such as your tonsils. Such problems can be minor in nature; many of us, for example, may have one or two teeth that are not perfectly straight or are even crooked. In other cases, bite problems can lead to premature loss of teeth, destruction of bone structures, speech and eating problems, difficulty in caring for teeth and premature tooth decay, as well as emotional distress.
Untreated malocclusions can also cause jaw joints to fall out of alignment; this can lead to chronic headaches, or facial and neck pain.
Indications for orthodontic treatment:
If you are unsure whether you need to see an orthodontist, consider the following symptoms as a possible cue to do so:
- Frequent cheek-biting or trauma to the roof of the mouth with a tooth.
- New erupting teeth that don’t come in straight.
- Speech related problems or difficulty in chewing food properly.
- Loss of contact of teeth on one side of mouth.
Benefits of the treatment
Orthodontic treatment can help people of all ages.
It’s fairly easy to re-position teeth if they are healthy and do not have serious gum problems.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of orthodontic treatment:
- Permanent teeth can be gradually guided into proper alignment and position.
- Changes the appearance of the face.
- Creating more space for permanent teeth.
- Minimizing or eliminating the potential for damage to jaw joints.
- Helping to ensure better facial balance, including proper lip closure, dental arch widths, and jaw growth.
- Minimizing the likelihood of cracked or chipped teeth (from bad bites).
Correction of eating and speech difficulties.