Orthodontic problems can affect both children and adults — even those who wore braces when they were young. That’s because teeth are more mobile than you might think. In fact, teeth move very gradually all the time in response to the normal forces of biting and chewing. Teeth can be pushed out of proper alignment when young children develop unhealthy habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. These and other orthodontic problems usually become apparent around age 7 when the permanent teeth have started to come in. That’s why an orthodontic evaluation in Omaha, Nebraska, is recommended for all kids at this age.
Adults often see their teeth begin to crowd toward the center of the mouth. Your bite may also shift into poor alignment due to a missing tooth. It’s good to know that no matter what your age, orthodontic treatment is available for all of the common orthodontic problems listed below — provided your teeth and gums are healthy. It’s also important to remember that wearing a retainer after any orthodontic treatment will help preserve the results for as long as possible.
Unmatched Dental Midlines
The dental midline is the line between your two front teeth on the upper and lower arches. These landmarks should align with one another, and also with the center of your nose and the point in between your eyes. If these points are not in alignment, it can result in issues with your bite, your ability to speak and your jaw function.
An underbite happens when the lower jaw extends out, resulting in the lower front teeth sitting in front of the upper front teeth. An underbite can lead to many problems, including general mouth and face pain due to misalignment of the jaws, difficulty with eating and chewing, and even complications with speaking.
In the case of an overbite, the upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth. This sometimes causes the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. Overbites can lead to an increased risk for cavities, gum disease and overly worn enamel, as well as jaw pain when eating or speaking, an inability to fully open or close the mouth, sleep apnea and other issues.
Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
In this type of orthodontic problem, the upper teeth extend too far forward, or the lower front teeth do not extend far enough forward. This can impact both the appearance and function of the teeth and bite, leading to uncomfortable tooth wear or problems with the TMJ.
In a crossbite, the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. This problem may result in tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth. In addition, a crossbite can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease and receding gums, stress on the TMJ, intense oral pain, teeth grinding and asymmetrical growth of the face.
An open bite is characterized by upper and lower front teeth that do not overlap. This common orthodontic issue often causes problems with proper chewing and may also contribute to other unwanted habits like tongue thrusting. An open bite can also lead to serious developmental problems, inhibiting proper speech (many people with an open bite develop a lisp), eating and oral health in both children and adults.
To discover how Dr. Igel, Dr. Chartrand and their orthodontic team can treat these and other orthodontic problems, contact Igel Orthodontics today at (402) 330-1152 for a free consultation! Our orthodontists and team look forward to serving you.