8 Common Orthodontic Problems

Orthodontic problems can occur throughout the course of your life due to the ever-changing nature of your teeth.

Unavoidable actions like biting and chewing can slowly push your teeth out of their proper alignment as well as unhealthy habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.

Here are some before and after examples of the most common orthodontic problems that you can seek treatment for.

Underbite

An underbite is when the lower jaw extends outward, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth. This is also referred to as a Class III malocclusion or prognathism.

Underbites can be caused by genetic factors, excessive growth of the lower jaw, or a combination of both genetic and environmental influences.

Severe underbites can make biting and chewing challenging, leading to discomfort and potential jaw misalignment. This may affect the ability to properly break down food, potentially leading to digestive issues.

Treatment

An underbite is when the lower jaw extends outward, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth. This is also referred to as a Class III malocclusion or prognathism.

Orthodontic treatment for underbites often involves the use of braces, possibly in combination with other dental appliances, such as headgear or a reverse-pull facemask, to gradually shift the position of the jaw and teeth.

Spacing

Teeth spacing is a condition that involves your teeth being separated by large gaps. It can occur naturally and is a common occurrence in children. It can also be caused by missing teeth and/or extractions as well as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.

Tooth spacing can result from various factors, including genetic issues, abnormal jawbone growth, missing teeth, or habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting that can push teeth forward. This issue tends to present itself as a gap between the two front teeth.

Treatment

Dental treatments for spacing issues may involve orthodontic solutions such as braces or aligners to gradually shift the teeth into the desired position. In some cases, cosmetic procedures like dental bonding or veneers might be recommended to close the gaps.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion / Overjet

Upper front teeth protrusion, otherwise known as overjet, is characterised by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward. The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. Typically, your upper teeth should extend over your lower teeth by about 1 – 3 millimetres.

Overjet can be caused by various factors such as genetics, abnormal jaw development, prolonged thumb sucking, or the improper positioning of the tongue during swallowing.

Treatment

Orthodontic treatments like braces, herbst appliances, clear aligners, or other dental appliances are commonly used to gradually realign the teeth and correct the overjet.

Crowding

Teeth crowding or overcrowded teeth occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. When teeth don’t have this space to emerge, they can press together, moving them out of their proper alignment. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times tooth removal can be avoided.

Crowded teeth can result from a combination of genetic factors and insufficient jaw space, often exacerbated by retained baby teeth, early loss of primary teeth, or abnormal tooth eruption patterns.

Treatment

Orthodontic solutions for crowded teeth typically involve braces or other alignment methods to gradually create more space and straighten the teeth. In some cases, tooth extraction might be necessary to alleviate severe crowding.

Crossbite

A crossbite involves the upper teeth sitting inside the lower teeth, instead of on the outside, when the jaw is closed. This type of bite may cause misaligned jaw growth.

Crossbites can lead to difficulties in biting and chewing, especially when the misalignment affects the overall function of the jaw, potentially leading to discomfort and limited oral functionality.

Crossbites can be caused by a combination of genetics and abnormal jaw growth, often worsened by habits like thumb sucking or prolonged use of pacifiers.

Treatment

Orthodontic treatment for crossbites typically involves the use of braces, specialised expanders, or other dental appliances to gradually align the upper and lower teeth properly.

Overbite

An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth. This can sometimes cause the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Most people have some form of overbite, but usually it isn’t noticed if it is a less severe case.

Overbites can be caused by genetic factors, improper oral habits during childhood, or abnormal jaw development, often exacerbated by prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use.

Treatment

Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, clear aligners, or other dental appliances, are typically used to gradually shift the position of the teeth and correct the overbite.

Open Bite

An open bite is a type of orthodontic malocclusion in which the upper and lower front teeth do not meet when the mouth is shut, resulting in a gap. Open bites may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting. This type of bite leads to potential speech issues and difficulties with biting and chewing.

Treatment

Orthodontic treatment for open bites often involves the use of braces, clear aligners, or other dental appliances to gradually bring the upper and lower teeth into proper alignment.

Dental Midlines not Matched

This type of condition is characterised by asymmetry in the centre points of one or both dental arches. It is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.

Dental midline discrepancies can result from a combination of genetics and abnormal growth patterns, often leading to asymmetry in the jaw and dental arches.

Dental midlines that do not align properly can lead to aesthetic concerns and potential functional issues with the bite.

Treatment

Orthodontic treatments such as braces or other dental appliances are used to correct the misalignment and bring the dental midlines into proper alignment.

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