Common Bite Problems Fixable With Orthodontics

Bite problems Carmel IN orthodontists

How your top and bottom teeth meet is known as your “bite”. Unfortunately, the relationship between the upper and lower set isn’t always harmonious. It’s not uncommon for a patient’s bite to be “off” and require specialized treatment from our Carmel, IN, orthodontists.

Here are 4 of the most common bite issues and what our orthodontists can do to transform your smile into something from your dreams.

Misaligned Bite: What Are the Signs?

Unless a professional like Dr. Davila or Dr. Hani examines your smile, how do you know you have a misaligned bite? Well, there are several symptoms that an individual can have that may point to an issue with how the upper and lower teeth meet.

Aside from abnormal tooth alignment, signs include:

  • Speech problems, i.e., lisp
  • Trouble biting into food
  • Breathing through the mouth with open lips
  • Discomfort when chewing
  • Facial appearance
  • Frequent headaches due to strain on jaw muscles
  • Uneven wear on teeth

Oftentimes, malocclusion (improper bite) is genetic. If crooked or crowded teeth run in your family, odds are you may experience them as well. This doesn’t mean you can’t change that, however. If you’re unsatisfied with your smile or you wish to give your child a better bite, we offer a range of services such as metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign® clear aligners, and more.

Braces or Aligners Can Fix the Following:

1) Crossbite (Anterior and Posterior)

When your teeth fail to properly line up once you close your mouth, you likely have a crossbite. There are two major types of crossbites which can be labeled as either posterior or anterior. Both may occur due to prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking, tongue thrust while swallowing, missing teeth, premature baby tooth loss, or other.

A posterior crossbite refers to the upper back teeth sitting inside of the bottom teeth. This will make your teeth look tilted in toward your tongue instead of squared up straight. On the other hand, an anterior crossbite involves one or multiple of your upper teeth resting behind your lower front teeth.

Though sometimes confused with an underbite, anterior crossbites don’t involve all of your upper teeth behind your bottom teeth. Early treatment is important with crossbites which means we will recommend Phase 1 orthodontics for your child if one is detected. This isn’t to say adults can’t also have crossbites treated which they can.

2) Overbite

Protruding upper front teeth that extend beyond your lower front teeth is known as an overbite. Overbites often cause the appearance of “buck teeth” which stick out and can cause feelings of self-consciousness. Like other misaligned bites, overbites can be hereditary and run in the family or be caused by outside behaviors.

Minor overbites have a low risk of leading to any additional health issues though the longer the overbite is left uncorrected, the greater chance of it causing:

  • Breathing problems
  • Pain when chewing
  • Gum disease
  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
  • Speech issues

If our orthodontists catch an overbite when your child is still young, we may move forward with Phase 1 treatment and implement a palatal expander, custom retainer, or suggest tooth extraction to make room for incoming teeth.

3) Underbite

The opposite of an overbite is an underbite. Underbites occur when the lower jaw sits in front of the upper jaw. They can range from mild to severe and may not even be noticeable to other people. When they’re ignored, however, you risk worn front teeth, chewing problems and jaw pain.

Both Dr. Davila and Dr. Hani have years of experience treating both adults and children with underbites. Because the jaw is still growing when patients are younger, it’s always best to correct the issue early on in life. If you have an underbite as an adult and want to improve your oral health, please feel free to get in touch with our Carmel, IN, orthodontics office.

4) Open Bite

If your or your child’s front upper and lower teeth don’t come together at all when the mouth is shut, signs may point to an anterior open bite. In general, an open bite prevents the teeth from being aligned properly once the jaws are closed.

Skeletal problems (influenced by genetics), thumbsucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting can all contribute to an open bite. Depending on the patient’s exact situation and age, we may recommend Phase 1 orthodontic treatment followed by the addition of metal braces, ceramic braces, or a similar method.

Misaligned Bites Out, Boosted Confidence In 

If you identify with any of the 4 bite issues mentioned above, you can rest easy. Our orthodontists in Carmel, IN, are well versed in using a variety of methods to correct a misaligned bite from metal or ceramic braces to clear aligners and InBrace®. Call WestClay Orthodontics today at (317) 593-1400 to request an appointment.