Common Orthodontic Issues and How They Are Treated
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Common Orthodontic Issues and How They Are Treated

In today’s visually-focused world, a person’s smile has never been more important. Whether it’s a business presentation, a first date, or simply a social media photograph, having a great smile can give a person an edge in many different situations.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the straight and attractive teeth they envisioned, and many people struggle with common orthodontic issues, such as misaligned teeth, crowded teeth, overbites, or underbites. For those with less than perfect smiles in Santa Barbara, orthodontic treatment can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll discuss some common orthodontic issues and how they are treated.

What Is a Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is the technical name for a misalignment of the teeth, which is a common orthodontic issue. Teeth that are not properly aligned create an unattractive smile and can impact a person’s overall oral health. Symptoms of malocclusion include pain in the jaws, difficulty speaking and chewing, abnormal wear of teeth, and changes in the facial shape.

Fortunately, there are several treatments that can be used to help with misaligned teeth. To correct malocclusion, we may recommend braces, retainers, or the use of grinding and filing methods to realign the teeth.

What Causes Common Orthodontic Issues?

Your teeth are an important part of your overall health and well-being. They play a crucial role in the digestive process, speech, and physical appearance. The shape, size, and condition of your teeth are, to a large degree, determined by genetics. However, there are certain orthodontic issues that can arise due to wear, incorrect hygiene habits, and other factors. Your natural bite can be disrupted due to the following factors: genetics, an accident or injury, changes to the structure of your jaw due to a medical condition, or simply the natural movement of adult teeth.

What Problems Are Caused by Crowded Teeth?

Crowding occurs when there are too many teeth in an area of the jaw, leading to crooked and curved teeth. Crowding can be caused by a range of factors including genetics, premature tooth loss, and thumb sucking.

When there is not enough room for all the teeth to fit in the mouth, crowding can cause pain and discomfort, and it can also make it difficult to properly brush and floss the teeth.

Treatment for crowded teeth usually involves extractions, which involves removing one or more teeth to make room for the crowded teeth. If extractions are not an option, braces can also be used to straighten the teeth and make room for the crowded teeth. Treatment time ranges from one to two years, depending on the severity of the crowding.

What Happens When Teeth Are Spaced Out Too Much?

Spacing is the opposite of crowding, where there is inadequate space in the jaw to accommodate all the teeth. Spacing often occurs when the jaw has grown too much, or when permanent teeth come in too far apart. Spacing can be fixed with retainers, implants, composite filling, or veneers.

What Is an Overbite?

Overbite, also known as "buck teeth," occurs when the upper teeth protrude further than the lower teeth. This is usually caused by the misalignment of the jaw and tooth. Overbite should be corrected at an early age as the treatment becomes more complex as you grow older. Braces, dental expanders, or palate expanders are typically used to correct an overbite. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

What Is an Underbite?

Underbite, also known as "bulldog teeth," occurs when the lower teeth protrude further than the upper teeth. It is a common orthodontic issue that can cause difficulty eating and speaking and can even lead to pain in the jaw joints. Early intervention is best, and may involve headgear, reverse pull facemasks, or chin cup therapy. Complete correction of severe underbites may require surgery, and braces can be used to help reduce the appearance of a mild underbite.

What Is an Open Bite?

Open bite is a condition in which the top and bottom teeth do not meet when the jaw is closed. Open bite usually occurs as a result of prolonged thumb-sucking, improper swallowing and oral habits, or jaw growth anomalies. Treatment for this condition can range from retainer therapy to jaw surgery, depending on the severity.

An open bite, where the upper and lower teeth do not make contact when the mouth is closed, can cause an unattractive smile and difficulty with biting and chewing. Common treatments for open bite include braces, expanders, and surgical procedures. Treatment time for this issue can range from one to two years.

How Are Common Orthodontic Problems Treated?

Orthodontic treatment can be a great way to improve your smile and correct common orthodontic issues. In most cases, treatment time ranges from one to two years, but the result is usually worth it. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, be sure to discuss the options with the team at Orthodontics of Santa Barbara to determine the best treatment plan for you. With the right treatment plan, you can have the straight and attractive smile you’ve always wanted.

What Are Typical Treatments for Orthodontic Problems?

The most common treatment for misaligned teeth is braces or Invisalign® clear aligners. Braces involve the use of brackets and wires to slowly move and align the teeth into the desired position. Braces are often used in combination with other treatments, such as retainers, to ensure that the teeth are properly positioned. Braces can help correct crooked teeth, gaps, and overlapping teeth. Treatment time varies depending on the severity of the misalignment, but it is typically between one and two years.

See a Santa Barbara Orthodontist Today!

Orthodontic issues can be uncomfortable and can also have serious consequences if left untreated. If you suspect you may have an issue, it is important to seek professional orthodontic advice from Orthodontics of Santa Barbara as soon as possible. There are a variety of treatment options available depending on the type and severity of the issue, and your Santa Barbara orthodontist will be able to provide the best treatment plan for your needs.

Do You Have an Orthodontic Problem in Santa Barbara?

Orthodontics of Santa Barbara offers a full array of orthodontic services to improve your smile. Contact us today at (805) 472-3805 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!


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