March 16th, 2016
Maybe your dentist told you that you might need braces. Or maybe all your friends are getting them and you’re wondering if you’ll need them too. Orthodontic problems such as crowding of the teeth, too much space between the teeth, jaw growth problems, protruding teeth, and bad bites can be inherited or caused by injury to the mouth, early or late loss of baby teeth, or thumb-sucking habits. Below are 7 of the most commonly treated orthodontic cases.
Teeth may be aligned poorly because the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are large. The bone and gums over the roots of extremely crowded teeth may become thin and recede as a result of severe crowding. Impacted teeth (teeth that should have come in, but have not), poor biting relationships, and undesirable appearance may all result from crowding.
2. Overjet or protruding upper teeth
Thumb suckers, beware! Thumb and finger sucking habits often cause a protrusion of the upper incisor teeth. Upper front teeth that protrude beyond normal contact with the lower front teeth are prone to injury, often indicate a poor bite of the back teeth (molars), and may indicate an unevenness in jaw growth. Commonly, protruded upper teeth are associated with a lower jaw that is short in proportion to the upper jaw.
3. Deep overbite
This occurs when the lower incisor (front) teeth bite too close or into the gum tissue behind the upper teeth. This can cause significant bone damage and discomfort. A deep bite can also contribute to excessive wear of the incisor teeth.
4. Open bite
This results when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. This open space between the upper and lower front teeth 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 and may contribute to significant tooth wear.
If teeth are missing or small, or the dental arch is very wide, space between the teeth can occur. The most common complaint from those with excessive space is poor appearance (unless you aspire to be a gap-toothed model!).
The most common type of a crossbite is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (toward the tongue). Crossbites of both back teeth and front teeth are commonly corrected early due to biting and chewing difficulties.
7. Underbite or lower jaw protrusion
About 3-5% of the population (that’s more than 10 million people in the United States alone!) has a lower jaw that is to some degree longer than the upper jaw. This can cause the lower front teeth to protrude ahead of the upper front teeth creating a crossbite. Careful monitoring of jaw growth and tooth development is indicated for these patients.
If your child is between the ages of 7 and 8 and shows signs of needing orthodontic care, or if you have been directed by your family dentist to visit the orthodontist, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Our team will provide your child with an initial exam, and discuss with you the best steps to take toward caring for your child's smile.