While braces are an excellent treatment for correcting a crooked smile, orthodontics can accomplish much more than improving your appearance. Braces can help you achieve ideal jaw positioning and establish optimal oral function.
Teeth that are positioned correctly also promote efficient breathing. Airway-focused orthodontics is an approach to straightening teeth that uses custom orthodontic appliances to create physical symmetry. This gives you a more attractive smile while improving airway functionality affected by issues such as obstructed breathing and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
In Jasper, Texas, dentist Eric R. Koch, DDS, and our team at Advanced Dental Care of East Texas provide professional airway-focused orthodontics for people with a range of orthodontic issues. Our team specializes in the use of ClearCorrect® aligners and the Tréz MaxComfort system to help you achieve your goals without extractions.
A crooked or crowded smile may be associated with oral habits and jaw abnormalities that can interfere with normal breathing. Find out about eight common problems that braces can correct.
Having crooked teeth can affect your ability to bite, chew, and speak. Uneven positioning can strain your teeth, muscles, and jaw as your mouth works to perform these movements. TMJ pain and migraine headaches can result.
Crooked teeth also make it more challenging to keep your teeth clean because bacteria and food debris can easily hide in an uneven dental arch. That increases your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis.
Dental crowding occurs when your jaw is too small to accommodate your teeth. It can also develop when you lose a primary tooth too soon and other teeth occupy the space before your permanent tooth erupts. Habits such as tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing, mouth breathing, or dental trauma can also lead to crowing.
Over time, your jaw loses density and shrinks. With less space, your teeth become crowded or overlap. When crowding occurs, there may not be enough space in your mouth for your tongue, which can force it toward your throat and block your airway when you sleep.
An overbite is a condition in which your top front teeth stick out over your bottom front teeth. While an overbite may be genetic, it can also develop as a result of habits such as teeth grinding or thumb-sucking and pacifier use past age three. Jaw pain, improper speech, and difficulty opening or closing your mouth can occur.
An underbite occurs when your lower teeth protrude past your upper front teeth. The effect can create an appearance that resembles the face of a bulldog and cause abnormal biting, chewing, and speaking.
An underbite can develop as the result of genetics, injury, or habits such as tongue thrusting or thumb-sucking and pacifier use past age three. This misalignment of your upper and lower jaw can result in jaw pain or biting your cheeks, lips, or tongue while eating.
A crossbite is a condition in which your teeth don’t fit over each other when you close your mouth. The upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth, affecting a single tooth or groups of teeth.
In a posterior crossbite, the back upper teeth sit inside of the back bottom teeth. In an anterior crossbite, the front upper teeth sit behind the bottom front teeth. It can occur as a result of an underlying jaw problem. Without correction, lopsided jaw growth or shifting of your jaw to one side can occur. It can also wear down tooth enamel.
An overjet, also known as buck teeth, occurs when your upper teeth push outward. While the alignment between the upper and lower front teeth is normal, the upper front teeth are positioned at least 2 millimeters past the lower teeth.
When your jaw is perfectly aligned, your teeth and jaw work together without exerting unnecessary stress on your TMJ, allowing you to bite, chew, speak, and breathe without any issues. However, when your jaw is misaligned, lower jaw and muscle pain can result.
Wear-and-tear or the loss of teeth to injury or decay can accelerate the misalignment. Lower jaw pain, headaches, and even pain in your shoulder or back causing posture problems can occur.
A space or gap between teeth is known as diastema. Gapped teeth can occur on their own or be compounded with tooth loss or teeth that are smaller than normal.
Having gum disease can also contribute to the problem as gums deteriorate and are unable to provide a firm attachment to teeth. Oral habits, such as pacifier use after age 3, can also promote this condition.
Find out more about the type of issues that braces can correct. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, or reach out to our team online.