Common Orthodontic Problems
Following are the most common orthodontic problems, also referred to as malocclusions or 'bad bites'. They result when the teeth or jaw structure does not fit together properly. If left untreated, these problems can cause difficulty with speech, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, and increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joints.
Ideal Dental Function
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.
Teeth that are small or missing, or the habit of pushing the teeth forward with the tongue, are often the cause of spacing problems. In mild cases, this may only be a cosmetic issue.
Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
Both the appearance and function of your teeth can be impacted by upper front teeth protrusion. In these cases, the upper teeth extend too far forward or the lower teeth don't extend forward far enough.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt into the mouth. Crowding can often be corrected by expanding the jaw and recontouring the teeth. In some cases removal of teeth may be necessary.
With this condition, the upper tooth or teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause malocclusion and misaligned jaw growth.
In an overbite, the upper front teeth extend down over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.
Proper chewing is impacted by an openbite, a condition in which the upper and lower front teeth do not meet. Openbites may be caused by habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
Dental Midlines Not Matching
This condition results when the anterior teeth in the upper jaw do not align with the teeth in the lower jaw. This can negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.
Fortunately, in most cases, orthodontic treatment can address these problems and promote ideal function.