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How an Orthodontist Can Help With Bite Problems

What comes to mind when you think about a less than perfect smile? While it's true most people want to improve the misalignment of their teeth for cosmetic purposes, correction is also important from another standpoint. Malocclusion or misaligned teeth can cause a variety of problems.

Most people often require the assistance of an orthodontist to treat misaligned teeth. In fact, realignment of overbites, underbites and other types of misalignment are what an orthodontist specializes in.

Many types of bite problems can cause patients to clench and grind their teeth, which in turn, leads to excessive wear. Having a bad bite can create chewing and even problems with speaking.

Read on to learn the three most common bite problems and how orthodontists can treat them.

Underbites
 

Whenever an underbite occurs, the lower jaw will extend forward and appear in front of the upper jaw. This makes the person look like they’re sticking their chin and lower teeth out. The technical term that orthodontists use when describing an underbite is “mandibular prognathism.” Should a person’s underbite become severe, it can possibly distort the shape and appearance of their face and even affect the way they talk.

Orthodontists treat underbites in a variety of ways. In mild cases, orthodontists recommend either corrective or cosmetic appliances. The two corrective appliances include an upper jaw expander and a “reverse-pull” face mask. The two cosmetic appliances include dental veneers and facelift dentistry.


Overbites
 

If someone has an overbite, you’ll notice that the person’s upper teeth protrude out in front of the lower jaw. Most normal gaps are usually two millimeters. With a malocclusion, the gap can range from as low as three millimeters to 10 millimeters. The chin will appear to be pushed back and the upper jaw will look like its jutting forward. Having a deep overbite can make the face appear short and round and it can cause jaw pain and headaches.

Here are ways orthodontists can treat overbites:
 

  • Braces

  • Teeth extraction

  • Retainers

  • Invisalign

  • Surgery
     

Surgery is almost always a last resort and is only recommended if a misaligned bite has become too severe for non-invasive treatment.

 

Crossbites
 

A crossbite is another type malocclusion that tends to be inherited. A lot of children are born with a narrow upper jaw that causes their teeth to become misaligned in the lower jaw. Furthermore, the upper teeth can also become crowded as a child’s permanent teeth start to come in. Crossbites can cause pain that radiates throughout the teeth and jaw. In addition, people may find chewing to be painful with a crossbite as well.

In more serious cases of crossbite, it’s possible for people to develop arthritis and even damage to the temporomandibular joint due to the constant, abnormal stress that is placed on it. The various treatments for crossbites are identical to the treatments used for underbites and overbites.

Having a bite problem increases the risk of many other dental issues as well as pain in your neck and shoulders. If you're having any kind of bite issues, call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Dayan at Dental Arts of Beverly Hills at (310) 846 - 8454 today!

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