Orthodontists are specialists who treat dental conditions like crooked teeth, crossbites, underbites, overbites, overcrowded teeth, overlapping teeth, temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and teeth that have large spaces in between them.
Understanding These Dental Conditions
You may already know how spaces between teeth look. However, what you may not know or differentiate is the appearance of these different conditions:
- Crooked teeth: these are teeth that have rotated and are facing a different direction.
- Crossbites: this is when your teeth look like they are slanting towards the interior of your mouth. You can even have a mixture of some correctly aligned teeth and slanting ones.
- Overbites: this occurs when your upper jaw or teeth are positioned further in front than the teeth on your lower jaw, meaning the lower teeth are biting behind your upper teeth or on your palate.
- Underbites: this condition the opposite of overbites. The teeth on your lower jaw are positioned further in front than the teeth on your upper jaw.
- Overlapping teeth: this occurs when you have small jaws, which leaves less room for all your teeth. You may notice some teeth overlapping with each other where half of an incisor is positioned behind the adjacent incisor on either your upper or lower jaw.
- Overcrowding teeth: this condition also occurs when you have small jaws. Teeth can pop out of weird or incorrect positions in your gum because they lack space. In serious cases, you may even find that you have two rows of teeth.
TMDs may not have an appearance, but you will feel chronic facial pain. The pain comes from problems with your jaw muscles, joints and nerves associated with your jaw.
Treatment depends on what your orthodontist discovers after an examination. It can fall under either braces or dental headgear. Generally, the most common treatment offered by orthodontists is braces. You may either come across traditional metal braces, lingual braces, porcelain/ceramic braces or Invisalign. In most cases, your orthodontist will recommend the type of braces that are the most suitable and effective in treating your dental condition. However, there are special circumstances when the braces mentioned above are all suitable, but you might have a preference based on aesthetics and whether or not you despise the taste of metal in your mouth.
Another kind of treatment is dental headgear. This option is generally recommended for children who have teeth overcrowding and overlapping problems. It is easy to use dental headgear to create some force on the upper and lower jaw at a younger age; the force helps create space in your gum.
Contact an orthodontics service for more information.