Common Orthodontic Problems

Malocclusions can create a number of challenging symptoms, because the position of the teeth and jaws affects our ability to breathe and eat, our sleep quality and our sense of self esteem.

Orthodontic problems are also called “Malocclusions.” “Occlusion” describes the relationship between the top teeth and the bottom teeth. With a healthy occlusion, the top teeth slightly overlap the bottom teeth and the upper jaw is aligned evenly with the lower jaw. When a malocclusion is present, this means the teeth are not meeting properly, which can be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, the jaw bones, or both.If you recognize any of the following orthodontic problems or symptoms, we encourage you to schedule your complimentary consultation with us in Las Vegas. Our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Saxe and Dr. Drowley, are here to discuss your concerns and help you make the best decision for your smile.

 

Underbite

With an underbite condition, the lower jaw extends further than the upper jaw. This causes the lower teeth to stick out past the front upper teeth.

Symptoms of an underbite:
-Difficulty or pain when biting or chewing food
-Facial pain or jaw pain
-Speech impediment

Overbite

An overbite, the opposite of an underbite, is present when the front upper teeth extend out past the front lower teeth. This sometimes causes the front lower teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.

Symptoms of an overbite:
-Severe or persistent headaches
-Facial pain or jaw pain
-Sleep apnea

Open Bite

When the upper teeth and lower teeth do not overlap or meet, this is called an open bite. Open bites are often caused by childhood habits, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting behind the teeth.

Symptoms of an open bite:
-Difficulty or inability to chew food properly
-Speech impediments or difficulty pronouncing certain words
-Lack of confidence or poor self esteem

Teeth Spacing

Teeth spacing is present when there are gaps between the teeth. This condition may be caused by missing teeth or a cosmetic issue.

Symptoms of teeth spacing:
-Swollen, red or tender gums
-Bad breath
-Loose or wiggly teeth

Protrusion

When the upper teeth extend outward, past the lower bottom teeth, this is called a protrusion or “overjet”. This condition can be caused by an underdeveloped lower jaw or childhood habits, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.

Symptoms of a protrusion:
-Facial asymmetries or deformities
-Difficulty breathing or persistent mouth breathing
-Speech impediments or difficulty pronouncing certain words

Crowding

When the teeth don’t have enough room as they’re erupting from the gums, this causes them to overlap and become crowded. Crowding is often treated by expanding the upper jaw with a palatal expander, but sometimes requires tooth extraction.

Symptoms of crowding:
-Persistently bad breath
-Tooth decay or gum disease
-Biting the inside of the cheek when chewing

Crossbite

A crossbite is present when the upper teeth sit inside of the lower teeth. This can cause tooth stratification or misaligned jaw growth.

Symptoms of a crossbite:
-Tooth pain, jaw pain or facial pain
-Severe or persistent headaches
-Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Midline Misalignment

The midlines are the lines between your two upper front teeth and two bottom front teeth. When top and bottom midlines do not match up and the back bite doesn’t fit properly, this is called a midline misalignment.

Symptoms of a midline misalignment:
-Uneven tooth wear
-Difficulty or pain when biting or chewing food
-Gum disease or tooth decay

How We Treat Common Orthodontic Problems

The symptoms caused by these common orthodontic problems can significantly impact you or your child’s quality of life. Getting a good night’s rest, chewing your food properly, and maintaining oral hygiene are critical functions for a healthy, happy life.

Most cases can be treated with braces, clear aligner therapy, an orthodontic appliance or a mix of those treatments. We won’t know which treatment will be most effective for you until our orthodontists can examine your teeth and bite position, assess your symptoms, and discuss your personal preferences.

We want to help you experience your greatest quality of life. If you recognize any of these conditions or symptoms, we encourage you to request a complimentary exam or give us a call. At your first visit to our office, we’ll provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you or your family.

Request Your Free Orthodontic
Exam