When your jaw or tooth structure do not fit together properly orthodontic treatment may be necessary to straighten out teeth and promote ideal oral and dental function. As your local orthodontist for the St. Joseph, Gallatin, and greater northwest Missouri area, Dr. Windhorst sees many common orthodontic problems that can be fixed with the types of braces and other orthodontic services offered at our practice.
Please continue reading below for a list of common problems that would warrant treatment with an orthodontist. Should you be suffering from one of these problems, contact us and schedule an appointment right away. If left untreated these structural issues (often referred to as malocclusions or bad bites) can cause speech difficulties, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, and even increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joint.
Types of Common Orthodontic Problems:
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw extends too far out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.
This is a situation where the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which leads to tooth wear and misaligned jaw growth. This type of bite causes improper use of the lower jaw and sometimes brings about facial asymmetry.
Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
This type of bite is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending forward enough. In both situations there is a significant impact on the appearance and function of your teeth.
In an overbite the upper front teeth extend too far out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Problems often associated with an overbite include a "gummy" smile, gingival recession, and excessive incisor wear.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. This is the most common reason to invest in braces or Invisalign with your local orthodontist. Not only is crowding unattractive, but it has been linked to periodontal problems and dental decay because it makes it harder to clean overlapping teeth surfaces.
The opposite of crowding, spacing is most commonly caused by excessive jaw room for the size of erupting teeth. Spacing problems may be the result of missing teeth or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue. Spacing is another popular reason for getting braces at our St. Joseph and Gallatin orthodontic practice.
In this case the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap, thus impacting proper chewing. Openbites may be caused by a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking. Early evaluation and intervention by an orthodontist is essential for correcting an openbite.
Dental Midlines Not Matched
Dental midlines don't line up when the back bite does not fit and match properly. This can negatively impact jaw function and proper dental function.
Other Reasons to See an Orthodontist:
In addition to the above common problems (which are specific conditions) other reasons to see an orthodontist include:
- Early or late loss of baby teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Sucking the thumb/fingers, or other oral habits
- Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed
- Speech difficulty
- Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of mouth
- Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don't meet at all
- Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face)
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Inability to comfortably close lips
Visit Your Local St. Joseph & Gallatin Orthodontist Today
If you think you or your child may have one of these common orthodontic problems, schedule a consultation with Dr. Windhorst at our St. Joseph or Gallatin office today! We will evaluate your condition and discuss orthodontic treatment options ranging from traditional metal braces to clear aligners like Invisalign. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you smile brighter!