Can Orthodontists Resolve Bite Problems?
A misaligned bite, also known as malocclusion, requires the need of orthodontic treatments. When going through an orthodontic procedure, it is essential that one’s bite is aligned so as to prevent unwanted side-effects. Misaligning of one’s bite might cause damage to the teeth due to the constant wearing down of teeth. In worse cases, it might cause eating issues and/or inhibit speech and articulation. More than just doing it for aesthetic reasons, the orthodontist’s job is to ensure that the orthodontic treatment is done well and to ensure that such symptoms do not persist. Below are some of the common bite issues that orthodontists can fix:
An overbite occurs when one’s upper teeth are extended excessively over one’s lower jaw. Usually, the gap between the lower and upper teeth would be 2 millimeters. Individuals with an overbite, however, can have gaps that range from 3 millimeters to 10 millimeters. Symptoms from an overbite include jaw discomfort, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, and headaches. Appearance-wise, this causes one’s face to be looked more ‘squashed’, such that one’s face looks rounder and shorter.
An underbite occurs when one’s lower teeth are extended excessively over one’s upper jaw. In severe cases, this can distort the shape and appearance of one’s face and affects one’s articulation. In addition, people with an underbite tend to experience some form of TMJ pain. Appearance-wise, this condition causes one’s chin to look as though it’s protruding outwards.
This condition is usually inherited from family and develops from a young age. For children, as their permanent teeth come in, this causes teeth to over-crowd on the upper jaw. In certain situations, this over-crowding issue may cause the teeth on the lower and upper jaw to misalign with each other.
Such symptoms of a crossbite include jaw discomfort and pain when chewing. The teeth are also slowly pulverized by the constant grinding of teeth, which might result in premature tooth loss. In severe cases, arthritis or TMJ pain might develop due to extra pressure points on the joints.
How to Treat Bite Problems
Upon experiencing symptoms of TMJ pain, it is vital that one visits the dentist or the orthodontist. There are several treatments available to treat TMJ pain. The orthodontist will evaluate and use non-invasive methods to treat malocclusions based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms. One such treatment would be using braces to align the patient’s bite. This is usually a sure-fire method to correct one’s bite and relieve TMJ pain. A mouth splint might also be provided to achieve a successful treatment. When all other treatments used are unable to rectify the issue, oral surgery might be required.