First thing first – your “bite” refers to how your upper and lower teeth meet inside the mouth. While there are those lucky few in whom bite problems are entirely absent, most of us need a little help in that department. A malocclusion or “bad bite” occurs when the upper and lower teeth don’t come together properly.
Everyone’s bite is unique, but here at Glass Orthodontics, we’re happy to say that we’ve seen it all and feel blessed to be able to serve our community in and around Brewton, Bay Minette, Daphne, and Atmore, Alabama.
In most cases, Dr. Glass will be able to correct any incidence of malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth or jaws) with corrective measures such as braces or clear aligners like Invisalign.
In more severe cases, exploring tooth extraction or even jaw surgery may be necessary, but this is only the case at the more extreme end of the spectrum.
We asked Dr. Glass to sit down with us and go over some of the common causes and types of bite problems, as well as the corrective measures you can expect for their treatment.
What Causes Bite Problems?
Even though every bite is different, it really comes down to one of a few environmental or genetic factors:
- Myofunctional Habits – Referring to the musculature of the jaw as it relates to orthodontic issues. Excessive thumb sucking, aggressive bottle feeding, reverse swallowing, tongue thrusting, or a number of other behaviors can lead to bite problems down the line.
- Genetics – maybe she’s born with it!
- Facial Development – sometimes, for whatever reason, we’ll find that a mix of environmental and genetic factors will lead to issues requiring corrective orthodontic care
- Injury – Ouch! Trauma such as a broken jaw or teeth can require orthodontic intervention
Common Bite Problems
In the case of an overbite, the upper front teeth overlap or cover part of the lower front teeth. This can lead to excessive wear and tear of the front teeth, especially the incisors (the two front teeth). Another concern with an overbite is the possibility of damage to the gum tissue leading to excessive gingival display, or a gummy smile to the rest of us.
Most often, traditional or clear braces or even aligners such as Invisalign can correct the issues leading to an overbite.
Also known as an anterior crossbite, this is where the lower jaw sits out in front of the upper jaw. When uncorrected, underbites can lead to excessive stress and pressure on the joints of the maxillofacial region. That means tension headaches, tooth grinding, and temporomandibular disorders, or TMJ.
Underbites typically require more aggressive treatment than would be the case for the more common mild overbites. In more serious cases of underbite, Dr. Glass may refer you to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon who he’ll work closely to reshape the jaw to develop a proper bite.
Refers to a misalignment of either the teeth, jaws or both, in which upper teeth sit inside of lower teeth. This often becomes worse over time and can lead to issues with properly chewing food. The sooner this is detected the better. That’s why it’s recommended that even in the case that you don’t notice any visible malocclusion in your child’s teeth, you take them in to see an orthodontic specialist like Dr. Glass by the time they’re seven years old, according to the ADA.
Another case in which early detection can save a whole heap of trouble, an open bite may lead to swallowing and airway issues! This is the case for both anterior and posterior open bites.
With an anterior open bite, the upper and lower teeth never meet or overlap when the back teeth are together, causing a visible gap in the space, leading to the name. A posterior open bite is similar, but the front and side teeth will close properly, but a gap forms in the back teeth.
Dr. Glass will fit you or your child with custom braces specially designed for dealing with an
Open bite, so never fear!
One of the most common orthodontic issues, crowding can cause self-esteem issues due to a lack of confidence in your smile, but there are more functional concerns as well. Crowding can lead to difficulty maintaining proper dental hygiene. This can cause an increase in cavities and gum disease, such as gingivitis.
The opposite of crowding, in spacing, as the name suggests, there is just too much space between teeth. All that extra space is ideal for the formation of harmful plaque and bacteria, so just like with crowding, this can lead to issues of gum disease and other oral hazards that go along with difficulties maintaining proper dental hygiene.
Often a result of early loss of baby teeth or missing permanents, dental midline issues are the result of your upper and lower incisors not aligning symmetrically. For a famous example of dental midline issues, check out early photos of the actor Tom Cruise.
He had his dental midline issues addressed with braces when it was time for his children to see their orthodontist, and so can you! Not only can dental midline problems lead to self-confidence issues, but also they can lead to systemic orthodontic malocclusion if left untreated.
Don’t wait! Call today!
A common theme that emerges when we look at bite problems is that the sooner they’re identified and dealt with, the better!
Dr. Glass stays current with all the latest emerging technology and best practices in orthodontia so that he can deliver the care you deserve. Your smile is more than just your greeting card to the world, it’s critically linked to your physical health as well!
That’s why we do what we do – we want to ensure that you and your loved ones leave Glass Orthodontics looking and feeling your absolute best. Call today for your free consultation!