The Most Common Orthodontic Problems

Very few of us are born with beautiful straight teeth and there are a myriad of orthodontic problems that people are either born with or develop over time. Our teeth are very mobile and move gradually in response to the normal forces of biting and chewing. This is why children that suck their thumbs tend to have worse orthodontic problems than those who don’t. Most orthodontic problems can be identified when children reach the age of 8 because this is the age when permanent teeth begin to erupt. While treatment isn’t always suitable at this age, identifying orthodontic issues early is the best way to lessen the burden in later years.

The most common orthodontic problem that people experience is called a malocclusion, or bad bite, and this issue appears in many different forms. Malocclusions are often a genetic problem but they can also be developed from issues such as poor oral hygiene, thumb sucking, dental disease, abnormal swallowing, mouth breathing, trauma from accidents, and poor nutrition. This is why maintaining good oral health is the best way for children to prevent any orthodontic issues from arising and developing healthy habits from a young age is vital.

For people that have orthodontic issues, undertaking orthodontic treatment like Invisalign or Insignia Braces is the only way to straighten teeth and correct bad bites. If you’ve noticed that you have a bad bite, today we’ll be shedding some light on the topic by providing an overview of the most common orthodontic problems.

Crowding

Teeth become crowded when there’s insufficient room within the jaw to fit all the teeth and usually occurs when teeth are too large or the jaw is too small. In some cases, simply removing one or two teeth may resolve the issue but most commonly, orthodontic treatment or oral surgery is required.

Gapped teeth

There are a number of reasons why some people have gaps between their teeth. Some permanent teeth may not erupt, the teeth are too small for the jaw, or some teeth may be lost to disease or trauma. As there’s plenty of space within the mouth, teeth can easily change position and orthodontic treatment is generally recommended.

Open bite

Open bite typically develops from bad habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting (where teeth push against the front teeth when swallowing). This results in an open space between the upper jaw and the lower jaw where the teeth don’t bite together.

Overbite (or deep bite)

Overbite is typically a genetic problem where the upper teeth are positioned too far in front of the lower teeth. Some patients have a bite so deep that the patient’s lower teeth actually bite into the roof of their mouth which usually results from a discrepancy in jaw size. Orthodontic treatment is highly recommended for patients with an overbite.

Overjet

Overjet (or protrusion) occurs when either the upper teeth extend too far forward or the lower teeth don’t extend far enough. There are a variety of reasons why people have an overjet ranging from genetics, missing lower teeth, improper jaw development, and thumb sucking. People with an overjet are naturally at greater risk of injury when playing sports.

Crossbite

Crossbite occurs when one or more of the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This is generally the result of a misalignment between the lower and upper jaws, and an orthodontic appliance called a palatal expander may resolve the issue in children who are still developing.

Underbite

Where crossbite only involves a couple of teeth inside the lower jaw, underbite occurs when all lower teeth extend past the upper teeth. The severity of this condition varies and is generally corrected with orthodontic treatment or jaw surgery.

Abnormal eruption

Abnormal eruption occurs when a tooth erupts from the gums in the wrong position. Sometimes a tooth may be blocked from erupting properly and a minor surgical procedure is needed before a patient can undertake orthodontic treatment.

Considering that most of these issues can be identified between the ages of 8 to 10, it’s recommended that all children have an early orthodontic evaluation to see if anything can be done to correct these issues. At the very least, your orthodontist can create a plan to lessen the burden of these orthodontic problems in the future.

If you have any further questions regarding common orthodontic problems and what you can do to correct them, speak with the professionals at Clear Smiles Orthodontics on the Gold Coast. For more information, simply phone their staff on 07 5593 3733.

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