What Causes Bite Problems?
As you grow from childhood to adulthood, your facial features continue to develop and grow. Specifically, your jawbone continues to grow between the ages of 16 and 18. However, it is very common for your jawbones to grow irregularly, causing a plethora of problems. Jaw misalignment is directly related to chewing, speaking, breathing, and facial formation issues.
Your jaws are primarily responsible for your ability to bite down. When referring to your bite, you describe how your upper teeth and lower teeth connect inside your mouth. If you have a natural bite, your upper teeth fit slightly over your bottom teeth, and your molars fit into the grooves of their opposites. When your teeth don’t come together properly, it is known as malocclusion.
While facial development is a primary factor in malocclusion, there are other factors to consider. Other causes include genetics, injury, and developmental habits like thumb-sucking, bottle feeding, and mouth breathing.
Because every individual is different, no two bites are the same. However, you can correct common bite problems with orthodontic treatment.
Here are the most common bite problems and how treatment can help:
If you have an overbite, your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth, covering them either partially or fully. When your top teeth cover most of your bottom teeth, this is referred to as a “deep bite.” In this instance, you are at risk of wearing down your two front teeth.
Overbites can sometimes cause jaw pain, discomfort when eating, or speech challenges. Habits such as nail-biting, thumb-sucking, and using a pacifier for too long can contribute to the development of an overbite.
Braces are an effective way to treat an overbite. As the braces straighten and align your teeth, they also move your jawbones. Your orthodontist may include orthodontic rubber bands as part of your treatment to enhance the shift of your jaw into the correct position.
In contrast to an overbite, an underbite occurs when your lower teeth overlap your upper teeth. This happens when your lower jaw sits out in front of your upper jaw, causing a “bulldog” appearance.
The causes of an underbite are similar to those of an overbite. If left untreated, you may experience severe tension headaches or pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Braces help alleviate this pain by aligning your teeth, also moving your jaw into proper alignment. Typically, your orthodontist will periodically tighten your appliance to continue straightening and aligning your jaw during your orthodontic treatment.
A crossbite occurs when your upper teeth fit inside of your lower teeth. The American Association of Orthodontists defines two types of crossbites — a posterior crossbite and an anterior crossbite; each type affects a different area of the mouth. Crossbites can be detrimental to your oral health and wear down your enamel, making you more prone to tooth decay and infection.
Treatment for crossbites depends on the severity of the individual circumstance. While braces can help crossbites, you may also need to receive palate expanders to properly align your jaw.
Similar to a crossbite, there are also two types of open bites — anterior and posterior. An anterior open bite is the most common of the two types and happens when the top and bottom teeth don’t touch when the back teeth are together. Open bites can cause significant speech and swallowing problems, making orthodontic treatment crucial for your health.
If your child has an open bite, one of the best ways to resolve this is by modifying their habits and stopping them from sucking their thumb or pacifier. However, if your adult teeth have all erupted, braces will help pull the teeth back into their proper alignment.
Fixing Your Bite at Smile Studio Orthodontics
At Smile Studio Orthodontics, we recognize that each patient has different needs. That is why we prioritize offering warm, welcoming, and compassionate orthodontic treatment. Our office utilizes the latest technologies and offers various flexible payment options to achieve the smile of your dreams.
If you experience jaw pain or a poor bite, call our office at (720) 815-3540 or contact us online today!