When you think of orthodontic treatment, you may focus your attention on getting a straighter smile. However, braces may also be used to correct a malocclusion or “bad bite.” Here are some signs of misaligned jaws that may be addressed using orthodontic treatment.
- Appearance – when there is an overbite, underbite or crossbite, it may be quite evident merely from looking at the patient. Not only may these conditions detract from the smile’s appearance, they may also negatively affect the patient’s ability to chew.
- Discomfort – If the upper and lower jaws do not fit together properly, the patient may experience some discomfort. Additionally, malocclusions can contribute to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which also can cause pain, along with clicking, popping or locking of the jaw. As such, orthodontic treatment may be recommended for patients who have TMJ disorders.
- Biting the cheek, lip or tongue – An incorrect bite may trap other soft tissues in its clenches while chewing food. Patients who notice that they repeatedly bite their cheeks, tongue or lips may have misaligned jaws, and orthodontic treatment can be helpful in fixing it.
In addition to the brackets and wires associated with traditional braces, an orthodontist may use other appliances to correct the malocclusion. Your provider can advise you as to the recommended approach in your case.
Depending on the circumstances, an orthodontist may be able to intervene and correct a malocclusion using braces alone. This is particularly effective in adolescents whose jaws are still growing, and that development can be manipulated. However, orthodontic treatment may not be sufficient in other cases, when the orthodontist may need to collaborate with an oral surgeon on the overarching treatment plan.
A “bad bite” can interfere with your smile’s appearance and functioning as much as crooked teeth do. To learn more about orthodontic treatment solutions for this issue, please contact our team at Fleming Orthodontics and set up an evaluation.