Acquiring beautiful, straight teeth through orthodontic treatment is about so much more than just appearances. For many people, a stunning smile is just a perk after fixing more serious health issues. When it comes to the jaw especially, there can be long-term, painful complications when you leave bite troubles alone.
Thankfully at Lake Jackson Orthodontics, we are here to help our patients fix their smiles and get healthy jaw alignment! This will set you up for a much healthier and pain-free life as you age! Keep reading to learn more about bite problems and how to fix them with orthodontics.
What Causes Bite Problems?
There are a few reasons why your jaw might grow or develop in different ways. Some we call myofunctional habits such as bottle feeding, mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, or thumb sucking. As you can tell, these are typically habits you pick up during childhood and impact facial bones as they grow and develop. Other reasons are genetics, facial development, injury, and more!
Regardless of the reasons why, it’s important to address jaw problems, especially starting at an early age. If an orthodontist like Dr. McGrory has the opportunity to observe and fix problems while a child’s bones are still growing and developing, it is much easier to treat. If your problem has not been treated well into adulthood, don’t worry. There are many treatment options still available!
What Do We Mean by Bite Problems?
There are several different kinds of bite issues that people have, the most common ones being:
When the upper teeth stick out farther than the lower teeth.
When the upper and lower teeth do not connect when you bite down.
When the lower teeth stick out past the upper teeth when you bite.
When the lower jaw is longer than the size and length of the upper jaw.
When there is not enough space along the jaw for all of your teeth, causing them to crowd together.
Misplaced Midline Bite
When the center of your upper teeth does not match the center of your lower teeth.
What Problems Can Bite Issues Cause?
There are a number of problems that bite issues can cause. Some patients might only experience one or two mild symptoms that develop into bigger problems over time. Other people struggle with many of these issues over many years. If you deal with any of these problems, it’s a good idea to stop by Lake Jackson Orthodontics and have Dr. McGrory evaluate your mouth and jaw to see if orthodontics could help solve your issue!
Chewing is a really important part of your digestion process. Being able to break up food into small pieces, and produce saliva, helps with digestion. When your bite is off, it can make it more difficult to chew, leading to less saliva production and large food particles. This means slower digestion, and possibly indigestion, bloating, constipation, and gas. It can also mean heartburn and bad breath.
A misaligned jaw can sometimes lead to narrowed nasal passages. This can mean mouth breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea, which is a serious medical condition. Breathing through your mouth can lead to a dry environment in the mouth that can encourage bacteria growth and tooth decay.
Pain in the face and jaw due to alignment issues is unfortunately very common and typically gets worse over time. TMJ pain is especially notorious for causing severe pain that can be debilitating. The pressure and stress on the jaw muscles from misalignment are often the root cause of TMJ pain and can be addressed through orthodontics!
Misaligned jaw sometimes leads to problems with speaking, like lisp and other speech impediments
Wearing Down Teeth
When your upper and lower teeth clash in an unhealthy way due to a misaligned bite, it can wear down your teeth’ enamel. Worn enamel can lead to nerve pain, chipping, root problems and infection, and even tooth loss!
Treatment for Jaw Problems
Now that you know about some of the problems that can come from a misaligned bite, I bet you’re ready to hear about the solutions! Thankfully our team at Lake Jackson Orthodontics has multiple treatment options to have you get a more aligned jaw.
Metal braces are the original treatment method and are still the most effective to deal with teeth and bite alignment issues. Metal is a strong force to pull teeth and bones into alignment. They also pair effectively with other devices like palatal expanders that we’ll discuss more below.
Clear braces are an alternative to metal braces that still works effectively to shift your bite without the obvious metal appearance. Made from a tooth-colored ceramic, clear braces blend in with your smile making your treatment less obvious to others. Because these braces are made from ceramic, they can sometimes work more slowly, so keep that in mind as you consider your options.
A palatal expander is a metal device that is placed on the roof of your mouth and attached to the braces on each side. These expanders create resistance against your teeth and jaw and make more space along the roof of your mouth. This is one way to help create better tooth and jaw alignment.
Craft a Healthy Smile with Lake Jackson Orthodontics!
The next step you need to take to get a healthy jaw is to give our office a call! Dr. McGrory and his team in Lake Jackson are ready to help you create a smile that will last as you age. With our free assessment appointment, it’s no cost to you to get started on your journey! Call us today to set up your appointment!