A straight, white smile is an excellent accessory for any occasion. However, straight teeth offer more than simple cosmetic benefits. Correctly aligned teeth can reduce pain and minimize the risk of enamel erosion. Orthodontists are specialists who can treat misaligned teeth in teenagers and adults. Here are four common bite problems and tooth alignment issues that an orthodontist can treat:
An overbite is a common tooth alignment issue. People with overbites have front teeth that protrude far beyond their lower teeth. Severe overbites can make it difficult for people to close their mouths fully. Overbites can also pose cosmetic issues. Fortunately, an orthodontist can treat overbites using traditional metal braces or clear aligners.
A crossbite is another tooth alignment issue that can affect teenagers and adults. Crossbites are similar to underbites, but in this case, only the front upper teeth are positioned behind the lower teeth. Crossbites can cause pain due to improper body mechanics. Jaw pain and headache are common symptoms. Luckily, orthodontists can reposition teeth to remedy crossbites. Braces and clear aligners are often sufficient to alleviate crossbites. However, in some cases, orthodontic headgear may also be required.
3. Open Bite
An open bite occurs when a person's top and bottom teeth are unable to fully meet. Open bites can cause difficulty eating, as people with this condition may be unable to bite and chew their food properly. This condition may be caused by excessive thumb-sucking as a child or by simple genetics. Orthodontists can treat open bites with braces. If your open bite was caused by certain habits, you will be counseled to discontinue those behaviors in order to prevent future problems. In some cases, orthodontists may recommend jaw surgery to correct severe open bites.
4. Abnormal Eruption
Some people experience abnormal eruption, which occurs when teeth grow in unusual positions. If you suffer from an abnormal eruption, you may have teeth growing out of your gums well above your natural tooth line. Orthodontists can use braces to reposition these teeth, gently drawing them into a better position. In some cases, dental extraction is indicated if the abnormal eruption is caused by crowding in the mouth. Dental extraction and braces can be combined to help patients achieve a healthy and ideal bite.
Correcting improperly aligned teeth can help you experience less pain in addition to allowing you to obtain a beautiful smile. An orthodontist can evaluate your teeth to diagnose malocclusion and alignment issues. Reach out to a clinic, such as Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics, LLP, to schedule an appointment.