Orthodontic conditions are often characterized by what is known as malocclusion, which is misalignment among the teeth and/or jaws that can be due to a variety of factors. While malocclusion can cause noticeable aesthetic issues, it can also compromise oral health and the overall function of the teeth. Here at the practice of our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Pat Cuozzo, we have seen several different types of orthodontic conditions in patients of all ages. The good news is, advanced orthodontic treatment options make it possible to correct many of these common concerns and help you improve both the form and function of your teeth.
Here are a few of the most common orthodontic conditions:
Crowding occurs when the teeth are too “bunched up” in certain areas. This often happens due to the teeth simply not having enough room when they erupt through the gum. Braces, Invisalign®, and other treatments can often be performed to address teeth crowding and improve lack of space between the teeth.
Spacing of Teeth
Large gaps between the teeth and missing teeth are common characteristics of teeth misalignment. Excessive spacing can be caused by teeth that simply failed to develop, teeth that were lost at some point in life, or a variety of other factors. Orthodontic treatment can be very effective at repositioning the teeth and closing the gaps.
Missing Lateral Incisors
The lateral incisors are the teeth directly adjacent to the front teeth on each side. For some individuals, often due to genetics, the lateral incisors do not develop. In many cases, the upper canine teeth (cuspids) move toward the two front teeth in order to fill the void. This can affect the function of the teeth in addition to their appearance. Braces, followed by dental implants, are often the treatments utilized to reposition the teeth and make room for artificial teeth that can take the place of missing lateral incisors.
Overbite and Deep Overbite
If the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth to an extensive degree, the result is an overbite. In cases where the upper front teeth almost completely extend over the lower front teeth, the result is called a deep overbite, which can have a significant effect on one’s facial appearance. Overbite and deep overbite conditions can also affect the ability to properly chew food, cause significant wearing down of the lower teeth, and even lead to other health concerns such as headaches, TMJ Disorder, and hearing problems. Overbites can often be corrected with braces or other orthodontic techniques. Invisalign® has even shown to be effective for milder cases of overbite in some patients.
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw and teeth protrude further than the upper teeth. This condition is very common and can ultimately affect both the function of the teeth and one’s overall facial appearance. Heredity can play a part in the cause. Braces and orthodontic appliances can be effective options to correct an underbite, depending on each individual case.
When the upper jaw and teeth protrude over the lower teeth, an overjet has likely occurred. This condition can have an effect on one’s facial appearance in addition to the function of his or her teeth. An overjet can be due in part to hereditary factors; however, the condition has also been attributed to thumb sucking or extended use of a bottle or pacifier. For many patients, effective treatment options for an overjet often include braces, Invisalign®, or orthodontic appliances.
If you would like more information on treatment options available at our practice, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our orthodontist, please contact Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists today