Orthodontic issues can affect anyone. Malocclusion, or a “bad bite”, can cause problems with chewing, oral hygiene, speaking, aesthetics and other dental problems.
Malocclusions are often genetic, but they can be caused by early or late loss of baby teeth, thumb sucking, dental disease, poor dental hygiene, traumatic accidents, birth defects or other medical conditions. Orthodontic treatment performed by Dr. Michael Berger can improve both the functionality of your bite and the appearance of your smile.
Below are some examples of the most common orthodontic problems.
Overjet – Protruding Front Teeth
Excessive overjet is characterized by the upper front teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending forward enough. This malocclusion can affect speech.
This is characterized by the lower front teeth biting into the roof of the mouth.
The upper teeth bite behind the lower teeth, which can cause gum loss, bone loss, tooth mobility, and asymmetric jaw growth. Crossbites in the back teeth are often a sign of a narrow upper jaw, which are associated with constricted airways. Narrow upper jaws can be corrected with expansion.
Open Bite – Front Teeth Don’t Touch
This is characterized by the front teeth not overlapping. Open bites can cause problems with speech & chewing. Open bites are often associated with tongue thrust habits, which can make the open bite worse. Open bites cause trauma to the back teeth, which often require dental work, such as crowns, when the back teeth start wearing down.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.
Underbites are a type of crossbite, where the lower front teeth bite in front of the upper teeth. Underbites can be a sign that the low jaw is out-growing the upper jaw. If left un-treated, patients with underbites sometimes require jaw surgery to correct their bite.