How Orthodontics Can Correct Your Bite Pattern
By now you are likely aware that keeping your teeth and gums free from tooth decay and gum disease should top your list of oral health priorities when it comes to maintaining your healthy smile. But did you know that a malocclusion is another common dental issue that often needs to be addressed?
A normal bite, or occlusion, means the teeth meet evenly. If your teeth and jaw alignment are off, you have a malocclusion, which can create severe dental problems. Fortunately, orthodontics can correct your bite pattern issues.
Common Bite Pattern Issues
Here is a list of common bite patterns:
- Overbite: Overbites happen when the upper teeth stick out farther than the lower teeth.
- Open bite: Open bites occur when the top and bottom teeth do not connect when you bite down.
- Underbite: Underbites are when the lower front teeth stick out past the upper teeth in your jaw.
- Crossbite: Crossbites happen when your lower jaw is longer than the size and length of your upper jaw.
- Overcrowded teeth: This arises when there is not enough space for your teeth and they crowd together.
- Misplaced midline bite: Misplaced midline bites happen when the center of your upper front teeth doesn’t match with the center of your lower teeth.
Problems Caused by Misaligned Teeth and Jaws
If you have any of the above bite patterns, the sooner you have it treated the greater your chances of avoiding oral problems later in life. Timely orthodontic treatment for a malocclusion can effectively restore a proper bite pattern to help you avoid the following problems:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Crowded or shifting teeth
- Uneven wear and tear on your teeth
- Headaches, jaw pain, clicking, popping, and jaw deterioration
- Periodontal disease, including gum recession and bone loss around teeth
- Problems with your speech, eating, or chewing abilities
- Reduced self-confidence from the appearance of your smile
How Tooth Alignment Problems Can Be Fixed
Orthodontics can correctly adjust and align the teeth and jaws. To fix overcrowding, appliances can be used in children as young as seven to expand the jaw and provide more room for adult teeth. If you are a teen or adult, you may need to have one or more teeth extracted first, then Invisalign aligners or braces can be used to properly space out the rest of your teeth.
If your bite is misaligned because of your jaws, an orthodontist can correct that as well. For example, to correct an underbite, small rubber bands can be attached to braces brackets or Invisalign attachments toward the front of the bottom teeth and the back of the top teeth to gradually bring the bottom jaw back into alignment.
If you have questions about your teeth alignment issues, please call us today to schedule your appointment or receive a consultation. We are ready to help you create your healthiest, straightest smile!