When people think of orthodontic care, they typically think of cosmetic or oral health corrections. For example, if someone is unhappy with the look of their smile or finds it difficult to perform oral hygiene due to the placement of their teeth, orthodontic treatment can help them.
At About Faces & Braces Orthodontics, we love helping our patients improve their self-esteem and oral health issues, but that’s not the only reason we might suggest orthodontic care. We also treat bite problems!
What Do We Mean By Bite Problems?
Your bite is how your upper and lower teeth come together when you close your mouth. An irregular bite can cause many problems (which we’ll get to later), but first, let’s discuss some examples of bad bites and what they look like.
Overbite – when the upper teeth stick out farther than your lower teeth
Open Bite – when the top and bottom teeth do not connect when you bite down
Underbite – when the lower front teeth stick out past the upper teeth in your jaw
Crossbite – when your lower jaw is longer than the size and length of your upper jaw
Overcrowded – when there is not enough space for your teeth, which can cause them to crowd together
Misplaced Midline Bite – when the center of your upper front teeth doesn’t match with the center of your lower teeth.
What Can A Poor Bite Cause?
Your teeth are essential to your body, and their functionality is crucial to many aspects of your life. The following are some side effects of having a poor bite.
- Difficulty Chewing. Your teeth are meant to break down food, but poor alignments can make this challenging. Food that is chewed up smaller is easier to swallow and soak up the nutritional benefits of. Chewing also helps the production of saliva, making swallowing food more manageable and readies the stomach for food intake. Increased saliva and smaller food reduce the risk of choking and food getting stuck in the digestive tract. Bigger food stuck in the digestive system can accumulate bacteria, leading to indigestion, bloating, constipation, and intestinal gas. Indigestion can lead to heartburn and bad breath, too.
- Difficulty Breathing. Many people with insufficient alignments have trouble breathing because of narrower air passageways. Bad bites can lead to snoring and sleep apnea. Some people might even have to breathe through their mouth throughout the day, causing the uncomfortable condition of dry mouth.
- Jaw Pain/TMJ. Abnormal stress and pressure on the jaw due to an inefficient bite can cause pain in the jaw joints and lead to TMJ, or temporomandibular, disorders. Jaw pain has the potential to spread to your neck and head, creating neck pain and migraines.
- Communication Problems. Those with undesired bites can also have trouble communicating due to pain, a lisp, or other speech impediments.
- Teeth Wear. Alignment challenges can cause you to grind your teeth, which erodes your enamel and wears down your teeth. Unusual pressure on the teeth from grinding or eating can also cause teeth chipping.
Other complications include facial pain, tooth loss, and unwanted influence on facial and jaw development in children. The above is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to bring up any concerns you have with your orthodontist, even if you don’t see them listed here.
Can It Be Treated?
Yes! Fortunately, most bite issues can be fixed with non-invasive orthodontic treatments. At About Faces & Braces Orthodontics, we have a few treatments that can help with your mild to severe bite goals!
This treatment option has rightfully earned its reputation as the go-to treatment option for all alignment needs! Traditional metal braces are strong and can handle a lot of pressure at once, making them perfect for fixing simple and complex bites problems. Metal braces also allow for accessories, such as orthodontic elastic bands that help align the jaw or spacers to fix overcrowding. Their durability and bonded application make them perfect for patients of all ages.
Clear braces are almost identical to metal braces. What sets them apart are the materials! Traditional braces use brackets made of metal, but clear braces use a tooth-colored polycrystalline ceramic material. When paired with matching ligatures (the elastics that hold the wire to the bracket), these braces have the illusion of being invisible! Clear braces are great at treating bite issues, though we recommend them for adults and older teenagers because they are not as durable as their metal predecessor.
Clear aligners might be the way to go for those with milder bite alignment needs.These removable trays straighten teeth by applying pressure, but unlike braces, they don’t require brackets or wires. Invisalign creates custom trays for a custom, comfortable fit and efficient, personalized treatment. The company’s patented technology permits them to fix bites in as little as six months! They create trays for patients of all ages, but not everyone qualifies.
Fixing your bite issues can be unnecessarily frustrating, uncomfortable, and time-consuming without enough space in the mouth. Custom palatal expanders can help with that! Widening of the upper jaw might be necessary to make room for teeth to grow in or to create space for teeth adjustment. The orthodontic appliance does exactly what the name suggests: it expands your upper jaw by applying gentle, continuous pressure over time to get results.
Visit Us At About Faces & Braces Orthodontics To Begin Your Bite Correction Journey!
At About Faces & Braces Orthodontics, we know that starting an orthodontic journey can be scary and intimidating. It can also be confusing to know if orthodontic treatment is right for you.
We want your experience with us and your treatment process to be as stress-free and pleasant as possible. Dr. Shawn and Dr. Candice will take all the time necessary to address your concerns and explain their recommended course of action.
Schedule a free consultation with our experienced and knowledgeable team today to get answers to all your questions and receive a thorough assessment of your bite alignment. The sooner you call, the sooner you can have a pain-free, healthy bite!
We look forward to hearing from you and providing you and your family with orthodontic care!