Here at Williams Orthodontics of Monroe and El Dorado, we know that the better-informed our patients are, the more they feel in control of the orthodontic corrective process.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve wondered exactly how orthodontics can fix my bite. Well, you’re in the right place!
That’s exactly what we discussed with Dr. Williams.
So read on, and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of bite problems: what they are, what causes them, and how we address them.
What Causes Bite Problems?
Even though every bite is different, it comes down to one of a few environmental or genetic factors:
- Myofunctional Habits – Referring to the musculature of the jaw as it relates to orthodontic issues. Excessive thumb sucking, aggressive bottle feeding, reverse swallowing, tongue thrusting, or several other behaviors can lead to bite problems.
- Genetics – maybe she’s born with it!
- Facial Development – sometimes, for whatever reason, we’ll find that a mix of environmental and genetic factors will lead to issues requiring corrective orthodontic care.
- Injury – Ouch! Trauma such as a broken jaw or teeth can require orthodontic intervention.
Common Bite Problems
In the case of an overbite, the upper front teeth overlap or cover part of the lower front teeth. This can lead to excessive wear and tear of the teeth, particularly the incisors (the two front teeth). Another concern with an overbite is the possibility of damage to the gum tissue leading to excessive gingival display (that’s a gummy smile to the rest of us).
Most often, traditional or clear braces or even aligners such as Invisalign can correct the issues leading to an overbite.
Also known as an anterior crossbite, this is where the lower jaw sits out in front of the upper jaw. When uncorrected, underbites can lead to excessive stress and pressure on the joints of the jaw and face. That means tension headaches, tooth grinding, and temporomandibular disorders, or TMJ.
Underbites typically require more aggressive treatment than would be the case for the more common mild overbites. In more severe cases of underbite, Dr. Williams may refer you to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon with whom he’ll work closely to reshape the jaw to develop a proper bite.
Refers to a misalignment of either the teeth, jaws or both, in which upper teeth sit inside lower teeth. This often becomes worse over time and can lead to issues with properly chewing food. The sooner this is detected, the better. That’s why we recommend that even if you don’t notice any visible malocclusion in your child’s teeth, you take them in to see an orthodontic specialist like Dr. Williams by the time they’re seven years old, according to the ADA.
Another case in which early detection can save a whole heap of trouble, an open bite may lead to swallowing and airway issues! This is the case for both anterior and posterior open bites.
With an anterior open bite, the upper and lower teeth never meet or overlap when the back teeth are together, causing a visible gap in the space, leading to the name. A posterior open bite is similar, but the front and side teeth will close properly, but a gap forms in the back teeth.
Dr. Williams will fit you or your child with custom braces specially designed for dealing with an open bite, so never fear!
One of the most common orthodontic issues, crowding, can cause self-esteem issues due to a lack of confidence in your smile, but there are more functional concerns as well. Crowding can lead to difficulty maintaining proper dental hygiene. The undue pressure and proliferation of hard-to-clean areas can cause an increase in cavities and gum disease, such as gingivitis.
The opposite of crowding, in spacing, as the name suggests, there is just too much space between teeth. All that extra space is ideal for forming harmful plaque and bacteria, so just like crowding, this can lead to gum disease and other oral hazards that accompany difficulties in maintaining proper dental hygiene.
Often a result of early loss of baby teeth or missing permanents, dental midline issues result from your upper and lower incisors not aligning symmetrically. For a famous example of dental midline issues, check out early photos of the actor Tom Cruise.
His dental midline issues were addressed with braces when it was time for his children to see their orthodontist, and so can you! Not only can dental midline problems lead to self-confidence issues, but also they can lead to systemic orthodontic malocclusion if left untreated.
Take a Bite Out of Crime!
At Williams Orthodontics, we believe it’s criminal that your bite problems should go unaddressed. The
That’s why we offer totally free consultations to all incoming patients, that’s why our clinical outcomes are consistently at the top of the heap, and that’s why we love being members of this community! So give us a call today, and let’s see what your smile can do!