There are many reasons why someone may need orthodontic treatment and range from incredibly complicated tooth or jaw issues to overall aesthetic appearance. All signs discussed in this post are called malocclusions. Malocclusion is described as “an incorrect relationship of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws when they come together as the jaws close, or fit together.” This is caused by discrepancies in size of the jaw and the sizes of the teeth.
The main signs to be looking for are:
Crowding is categorized by a lack of space for all of the teeth to fit within the jaws. Crowded teeth can be very difficult to clean, can contribute to an improper bite, and can be unaesthetic.
Spacing in teeth most often means that there is a discrepancy between the size of the teeth and the jaws. It can also mean that teeth are missing. Spacing can affect the bite and can hinder self confidence.
Open bites are usually caused from finger or thumb sucking or by children using pacifiers after about 2 years of age. An open bite is when the back teeth are together and the front teeth are apart or “open”. It can cause major speech issues, trouble eating, and jaw problems.
Deep bites are classified as an excessive overbite and it is when the top front teeth overlap the bottom teeth too much. In severe cases, the lower front teeth are not visible at all when biting. This can cause problems with the gums, uneven tooth wear, jaw problems, and is usually an indication of bite issues of the back teeth.
Protrusion is classified as excessive overjet. This is when the top teeth “jet” out over the bottom teeth and can cause speech and jaw problems, uneven tooth wear, and trouble eating. It can sometimes be caused from tongue thrusting. If the child were to fall and hit their front teeth, it can be more dangerous and cause more tooth loss than someone with less protrusion.
Crossbite (Front Teeth)
Crossbites of the front teeth is when the front top teeth sit inside the bottom front teeth. It can be one or two teeth or all of the front teeth. This can cause uneven tooth wear, trouble eating, speech problems, and can affect the gums.
Crossbite (Back Teeth)
Crossbites of the back teeth result when the upper jaw is more narrow than the lower jaw causing some or all of the back upper teeth to sit totally or partially inside the lower back teeth. This can sometimes be caused from thumb or finger sucking, or from using a pacifier too long. This can cause uneven tooth wear, speech problems, trouble eating, and eventual tooth loss.
Underbites are most commonly genetic and not from anything habitual. This is when the upper jaw doesn’t grow forward enough, while the lower jaw grows too far forward. This can cause major speech issues, trouble eating, uneven tooth wear, major jaw problems, and can hinder self confidence. It can be corrected with early orthodontics. However, it is most commonly treated after the person is done growing with a combination of orthodontic appliances, such as braces and surgery. Treatment is performed after growth is completed so that results are more stable.
Abnormal Eruption of Teeth
Abnormal, or Ectopic, eruption of teeth is when a tooth does not follow a normal eruption pattern due to a deficiency of growth or space. It can cause various issues depending on where it is positioned in the mouth. Some issues include: early tooth loss, speech issues, improper bite, uneven tooth wear, difficulty eating, and jaw problems.If you or your child may have one or more of these malocclusions, give our office a call at 303-933-5339 for a FREE consultation.