What Types of Problems Can Orthodontic Treatment Fix?
Orthodontic treatment fixes malocclusions, which are issues with the positioning, spacing or alignment of the jaws and teeth. Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Bloome and Dr. Muller are certified specialists in orthodontics with the expertise to correct a wide range of orthodontic problems, even those that are extremely complex. To learn more about how we can help perfect your smile, schedule a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists online or by calling us at (713) 667-6000 (Bellaire) or (281) 752-4222 (West Houston). While every smile is unique, these are some of the common issues we treat:
When there isn’t enough room in the jaw to accommodate all of the teeth, it’s called crowding and teeth will often overlap, twist or get pushed forward or back. It can be the result of an imbalance in the jaw-to-tooth-size relationship, primary teeth falling out too early or permanent teeth erupting incorrectly. Crowded teeth are harder to clean, which may lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Spacing is the opposite of crowding and is characterized by gaps between two or more teeth. Spacing can occur because of missing teeth, certain habits like prolonged thumb sucking, or teeth that are too narrow for the jaw. Gap teeth are a cosmetic concern but they can also have a negative impact on the health of your gums.
A patient is said to have an overbite when the front top teeth stick out further than the bottom teeth. Almost everyone has some degree of an overbite but when it’s too large, orthodontic treatment is necessary. An overbite can cause pain in the jaw, excessive wear of the teeth and makes front teeth more prone to injury.
If the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed, it’s called an underbite. It occurs when the lower jaw grows at a faster rate than the upper jaw. Having an underbite makes it hard to chew correctly and speak clearly and also results in uneven wear of the teeth. It’s essential to have a child’s jaw development monitored if they present with signs of an underbite. Advancing the upper teeth and jaw with appliances around age seven or eight will reduce the likelihood of needing surgery as an adult.
If some of your top teeth sit inside of your bottom teeth when you close your mouth, it’s known as a crossbite. Depending on which teeth are involved, you can have a back crossbite or a front crossbite. Crossbites can be caused by trauma, genetics, the early loss of baby teeth or different habits. Since people often compensate for a crossbite by moving the jaw to one side, it can lead to permanent changes in the facial structure and have an impact on jaw growth. That’s why early evaluation is important.
If your top and bottom teeth don’t make contact when your mouth is closed, it’s referred to as an open bite. An open bite can make chewing and biting into foods a challenge. An open bite may be due to a skeletal issue or it could result from things like thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use and tongue thrusting.