For most people, having an orthodontic condition means having to use braces at some point in their life. While many more orthodontic appliances are available to help fix various orthodontic issues, treatments involving braces or clear aligners are very versatile and can correct various types of misaligned teeth, also known as malocclusions.
Orthodontic treatments like braces work by pulling your teeth with constant force for many months up to a couple of years. During this time, orthodontists will constantly adjust your braces to get your teeth to the exact position needed. After the treatment, patients will have a much easier time cleaning their teeth, will have less or no pain, will, in some cases, no longer have a speech impediment, will have a much more symmetrical and aligned smile, and more.
Here we’ll explore some of the most common orthodontic problems and their causes.
Common Orthodontic Problems
Many orthodontic conditions come from misaligned teeth or jaws. If you have any of them misaligned, you suffer from a type of malocclusion. The types of malocclusion differ in many ways, from the angle and direction your teeth point into to the space in between them.
Regardless of the specific type of malocclusion, leaving the issue untreated will only make things worse for the patient. While everyone can get orthodontic treatment in Yulee regardless of age, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends patients get a screening as young as seven years old. As treatment at a younger age requires less treatment time, it makes for faster healing and has less chance of teeth shifting back to their original position.
Here are a few types of malocclusions you can suffer from.
A very common alignment issue is having crowded teeth, also known as crowding. It will generally occur in patients who don’t have enough space in their jaws for all the teeth to erupt normally. When crowding happens, it can generate a variety of problems for the patient that range anywhere from issues regarding insecurities over their own image due to a crooked smile to uneven wear on various teeth and difficulty cleaning. The last of which makes them prone to infections, tooth decay, tooth loss, and cavities.
Spacing refers to gaps between teeth that can happen anywhere inside a patient’s mouth. The reason for space appearing between teeth can be genetics, as it could relate to the size of the teeth or jaws, or it could be a consequence of bad habits that many people have as a child, like thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting.
Similarly to crowding, spacing can have an effect on the patient’s view of themselves, and it will also make your teeth harder to clean, making the patient more susceptible to suffering from gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Overbite is the most common type of malocclusion, and for someone to suffer from it, their upper teeth have to protrude forward over the lower row of teeth. If the protrusion is very severe, it is known as an overjet. Like spacing, these types of malocclusions can be the result of genetics or bad habits. They can cause severe pain in the patient’s jaw, as well as speech and eating impediments.
An underbite is the opposite of an overbite and overjet. An Underbite occurs when the lower teeth severely protrude forward over the upper teeth. While it is treatable, it is noticeably more difficult to deal with than other malocclusions. The consequences of this ‘bad bite’ are speech impediments, jaw pain, bad breath, sleep apnea, uneven teeth wear, temporomandibular joint disorder, and more.
Open bite, as the name implies, refers to a patient who has severely misaligned teeth to the point of leaving an opening in their mouth even when completely closed. The opening can be at any point in their mouth. If it’s in the front teeth, it’s an anterior open bite. If the teeth in the back of the mouth can’t close, it is a posterior open bite.
Open bites effect include lisping, difficulty eating, increased wear on certain teeth, and more. Fortunately for most, only a very small part of the population suffers from this malocclusion.
Are Crooked Teeth Genetic?
While genetics can be the reason for crooked teeth, it isn’t always the case. Orthodontic conditions like open bites, spacing, or crowding, can all be a consequence of either a genetic trait or a bad dental habit as a kid. For example, a smaller lower jaw can sometimes be the reason for an overbite, and tongue thrusting is, in many cases, the main reason for a patient to suffer from an open bite.
Regardless of the case, as long as you make sure your kids leave behind the bad dental habits as soon as possible, there is nothing to worry about. Malocclusions are a treatable condition, and any patient can get the symmetrical and natural-looking smile they deserve.
Start Your Treatment
If you know you have any of the mentioned orthodontic conditions, don’t wait to start the orthodontic treatment necessary for you. Here at Onshore Orthodontics, we are ready to make a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Schedule your appointment here and start whenever you wish to.