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From frustration to solution – Mastering the science of bad bite treatment
A bad bite, also called malocclusion in medical terminology, is the incorrect positioning or misalignment of the top and bottom jaws. It happens when your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together correctly. A normal bite is when the upper teeth are placed slightly forward to the lower teeth.
Bad bite makes performing normal functions such as talking and chewing difficult. It also impacts the individual’s health negatively. It is a serious orthodontic issue that requires timely treatment.
What are the Common Causes of Bad Bites?
A person can be born with a misalignment of teeth (congenital) or can acquire this condition. A few common causes include:
- Prolonged bottle-feeding and use of pacifier during infancy
- Chronic thumb-sucking in childhood
- Gingival disease or Impacted teeth
- Post-injury trauma
- Mouth or jaw malignancy
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids resulting in mouth breathing
Types of Malocclusion
Listed below are the most common types of malocclusions:
- Overbite – Excessive protrusion of upper front teeth over lower front teeth.
- Underbite – Excessive protrusion of lower teeth over the upper front teeth.
- Crossbite – Misalignment of teeth leading to some or all of the upper teeth falling within the lower arch.
- Open bite – Misalignment such that upper and lower teeth do not touch each other as the mouth closes, causing a considerable gap.
Common Indicators of A Bad Bite
Are you worried that you have a bad bite? Listed below are common signs and symptoms to help you identify a malocclusion:
- Grinding or biting the tongue and inner cheeks is a telltale sign of crossbite.
- Difficulty chewing or discomfort in biting – caused by crossbite, overbite, or open bite.
- Speech problem – caused due to misalignment or irregular size/shape of the jaw.
- Mouth breathing – caused by a high arch palate or an open bite.
- Facial asymmetry – the result of an imbalanced growth of jaw bones.
The good news is that a trained orthodontist can correct a bad bite. Let us explore a few available orthodontic appliances and methods to help us correct this condition.
1. Teeth Extraction to Correct Overcrowding
- Tooth extraction is usually performed in children suffering with overbites. This procedure creates space for the rest of the teeth to grow straight.
2. Use of Traditional Braces
- Braces put pressure on the teeth to correct their alignment using a combination of brackets, wires, and elastic bands. The treatment is completed between 6 months to 2 years.
3. Clear Aligners (Invisalign) for Overbites
- Invisalign comprises a set of very thin and transparent aligners that are placed over the teeth using 3D imaging technology to correct malocclusion. They are comfortable to wear and are barely noticeable. The aligners exert pressure over the teeth and gradually shift them to the desired alignment.
4. Additional Appliances for Overbites
- Herbst appliance or an orthodontic headgear work together with braces to ensure proper teeth alignment.
Palatal expanders can be used to create room by expanding the arches.
5. Maxillofacial surgery
- Only in extreme cases oral or jaw surgery is required by a maxillofacial surgeon.
As bad bite or malocclusion can seriously compromise our oral health and can cause other related problems, this condition should be treated as soon as possible. Now that you have an overview of the different treatment options available, it is time to book an appointment with the best orthodontist in your town.
Contact Icon Dental Orthodontics today to schedule an appointment with the best orthodontists in Seattle or Everett. Our expert dentists are dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatment, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Trust us to help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. For consultations or bookings, call us at (206) 225-2882 for Seattle and (425) 337-2400 for Everett appointments.