Orthodontics is a field of dentistry designed to diagnose, prevent and treat alignment problems in teeth and jaws. As such, it offers the ideal solutions for crooked teeth, gapping between teeth, bite problems and more. Preventative Orthodontics or early orthodontic treatment for children can also help prevent oral care problems later in life!
Here are four of the most common problems treated with orthodontics:
- Occlusion Problems – The way your teeth line up and fit inside your mouth is known as occlusion, and malocclusion is the term used to describe issues with alignment of the teeth and jaw. When your teeth are not properly lined up in your mouth, you may have bite problems such as an underbite, overbite, crossbite, or misplaced midline. Malocclusion may affect the ease with which you bite, eat or chew, causing difficulty or discomfort. In certain cases, it may also cause speech impediments, changes in your facial structure and frequent biting of the inner cheek or tongue. Orthodontics offers various solutions for treating malocclusion, including dental braces, tooth reshaping, and oral surgery.
- Bruxism/Tooth Grinding – If you’re clenching or grinding your teeth, this can wear them down, damage their protective enamel and cause other issues with your oral health as well. Also known as bruxism, this is a very common issue faced by people of all ages, but it’s particularly likely to happen with erupting baby teeth or permanent teeth.Teeth grinding often takes place unconsciously, even when you’re asleep, and it may not cause any symptoms that are obvious to you. Regular dental checkups can help diagnose the problem, while orthodontic manipulation of the jaw and teeth can help guide their growth to eliminate the problem, preventing enamel damage and mouth pain or discomfort.
- Protruding Teeth – Tooth protrusion takes place as a result of the upper jaw being thrust ahead of the lower jaw, which results in bite irregularities and uneven pressure on teeth. Other than affecting your facial structure and the formation of your jaw bone, severe tooth protrusion can also make it difficult to close your lips completely.Tooth protrusion may lead to bone loss in the jaw if it’s left untreated since it often puts too much pressure on teeth that touch each other over a period of time. Most cases of protrusion can be treated with different types of braces, but your orthodontist may suggest a tooth extraction in case the problem is too severe to be treated with removable or fixed appliances.
- Spacing Issues – Gaps between teeth, crowding, and other spacing irregularities can cause various oral health problems, in addition to affecting your appearance and self-esteem. For instance, exposed gums caused by large gaps or missing teeth are prone to gum disease and injury, while crooked teeth can make brushing and flossing difficult.Orthodontic braces and other appliances can help move teeth into the desired position, correcting gaps and crowding, and preventing dental health problems caused by poor oral hygiene as well. With different types of braces available these days, you can choose between traditional metal braces or less noticeable variants such as lingual braces or even clear aligners!
Orthodontic treatment and dental care technology have changed tremendously, and modern orthodontics offers a huge range of cosmetic dentistry and oral health solutions. It’s also more effective, affordable and comfortable than in the past, so don’t be afraid to explore your treatment options.
If you’re struggling with tooth or jaw problems, set up an appointment with Thurman Orthodontics today. We’d be glad to help you get straight teeth and a healthy smile!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.