The modern human smile has fundamentally changed from that of our early ancestors, this has caused a phenomenon where few of us develop perfectly aligned smiles into adulthood through natural means. Thankfully, through the innovation of the dental industry, there are a variety of successful orthodontic methods totally capable of realigning a smile, permanently transforming its aesthetic and function.
A misalignment of the teeth, professionally referred to as a malocclusion, in one form or another is somewhat common and will inevitably cause risk to the integrity of the smile if not remedied by a professional. Let’s break down some of the most common malocclusions, what they entail, and how to course-correct them.
The Malocclusions Dentists Commonly See
These are some common issues affecting the alignment of the teeth as a patient’s smile develops over time. Worry not, Orthodontic procedures like braces and Invisalign are fully capable of transforming even the most pressing cases!
This term describes a situation where the upper and lower teeth slant outward, and fail to properly make contact with each other, even when the jaw is shut. This guarantees some substantial troubles in fundamental actions of the jaw; limiting the ability to speak properly and enunciate words, chew and breakdown food, and even impact the motion of swallowing!
Overbite and Underbite
A healthy smile is designed to position the front teeth and where they sit slightly beyond their bottom counterparts. However, an overbite occurs when the upper teeth protrude far beyond this ideal standard. The deeper the overbite sits, the more a patient will be frustrated with the unflattering appearance the jawbone positioning creates and not to mention the painful side effects such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even frequent jaw pain!
Underbites are similar in nature, and are the reverse opposite of the aforementioned overbite. This is signified by the lower jaw sitting too far forward, protruding past the upper teeth. This commonly limits a patient’s ability to bite, chew, and speak properly, while also being the culprit for premature tooth wear.
Uncannily nicknamed “buck teeth”, overjets occur when the front two teeth stick out beyond the lower ones at an angle. Commonly conflated with overbites, they are not the same, as overbites protrude straight past the bottom teeth and are more of a jaw alignment issue, whereas overjets relate to the position of a few specific teeth at an angle. Overjets can cause social troubles and plague patients with confidence issues, as well as some impacting the actions of speaking, biting, and chewing.
Crowded places are usually hectic and fail to allow the space to operate as intended. Your smile is no different; and if it has some degree of dental crowding, it could lead to poorer oral health across the board, especially as the patient ages. Dental crowding refers to a lack of space available for the teeth to grow as properly intended, and results in misalignments and crookedness in a few teeth or multiple teeth throughout the smile. Regardless of how many teeth are misaligned, the impacted teeth’s integrity is limited.
These malocclusions might sound intimidating, but with the guidance and intervening hand of a trusted dental professional, they can be easily remedied in a permanent manner.
Millions of people have transformed the look and feel of their smile through the innovation that is orthodontic procedures! If you want to learn more about corrective methods like braces or the modern wonder that is Invisalign, please book a consultation with us today!