Orthodontics is a specialization in dentistry focused on the abnormalities of the teeth and jaw. Although similar to general dentistry that is concerned with oral health, an orthodontist mainly diagnoses and treats issues involving teeth and jaw alignment.
Even though some people get braces for aesthetic purposes, there are those who experience issues in breathing or chewing that require the same treatment. You can get orthodontic care by contacting an orthodontist directly and you may also choose to get orthodontic insurance.
Common Types of Orthodontic Problems
Sometimes, when we feel any type of oral discomfort, the first thing we may think of seeing is a dentist. But the issue may require an orthodontist’s expertise instead. Here are some common conditions that call for orthodontic treatment:
Crowded teeth are one of the most common reasons to get braces. This happens when there is too little space in the jaw for all of your teeth, causing them to be pushed forward or back, or even to the sides.
You can be more prone to oral problems such as tooth decay when you have crowded teeth. This is because it’s harder to thoroughly clean teeth that are too close together. You can prevent this by going to an orthodontist and having your teeth adjusted.
A malocclusion or misaligned bite means that your upper and lower teeth are not properly lined up when you bite down. It not only causes an asymmetrical face but also contributes to difficulties in eating or speaking.
To fix your bite, an orthodontist may suggest options such as braces, retainers, or even surgery, depending on your condition. There are various types of malocclusion, such as:
- Overbite – This is when your upper teeth are positioned far too forward than your lower teeth. Common causes of this condition are genetics, a smaller lower jaw, or finger and thumb sucking during childhood. An overbite, when left untreated, may lead to teeth grinding, which damages your teeth’s enamel.
- Underbite – As opposed to an overbite, an underbite is where the upper teeth are placed too far back than the upper teeth. Besides potential damage to your teeth and gums, this can also make chewing difficult and might cause health problems in the future.
- Crossbite – This problem is characterized by your upper teeth fitting inside your lower teeth. When this happens, some of your bottom teeth may jut out when your jaws are closed. There are two kinds of crossbite: anterior and posterior.
- Open bite – An open bite is when your upper and lower teeth don’t meet when your jaw is closed, usually creating an open space between your teeth. This condition can cause a lot of issues such as speech problems, chewing difficulties, and trouble sleeping.
Abnormal Tooth Spacing
If your teeth have excessive and unnatural gaps between them, it’s best to see an orthodontist right away. Like crowded teeth, abnormal tooth spacing can cause various dental issues such as cavities and gingivitis. It can also affect a person’s self-esteem as they might be more conscious of smiling freely.
There are different treatment options that can fix the spacing of your teeth. This includes dental bonding, veneers, or braces. When you visit an orthodontist, they can help you identify which option best fits your needs.
This condition occurs when teeth are blocked from erupting properly because of insufficient space in the jaw or because of another tooth obstructing its way. For this reason, wisdom teeth are the ones that are usually impacted since they erupt at a later age. Sometimes, it happens to upper canines too.
Having an impacted tooth can cause swelling in your gums, struggle in opening and closing your mouth, as well as pain in chewing or biting. If you experience any signs or symptoms of an impacted tooth, it’s better to consult an orthodontist.
When To Visit an Orthodontist
Having good oral health is vital if you want to keep a healthier well-being. Knowing what kinds of conditions to look out for can help you determine whether or not it’s time to see an orthodontist. If you’re still in doubt and need further assistance in keeping you and your family’s oral health in top condition, you can reach out to a reliable professional for information on dental and orthodontic insurance.