When it comes to understanding our teeth, in an ideal world our upper teeth will slightly overlap our lower teeth.
For many of us this isn’t the case, leading us to seek some form of dental treatment such as braces to help correct the misalignment where significant malocclusion occurs. When this happens it can be difficult to clean our teeth properly, which increases the risk of tooth decay.
The most common types of misalignment are:
A crossbite is when a group of teeth or a single tooth are incorrectly aligned due to the upper and lower jaw becoming uneven, often due to genetics. This can affect either the back teeth or the front teeth or both. The upper teeth should fit outside the lower teeth, but with a crossbite the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth, towards the tongue. This may occur on one or both sides of the mouth and can cause difficulty with biting and chewing.
This is when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth considerably, which can lead to gum issues and a painful jaw. There are two main types of an overbite; skeletal and dental. Dental overbites are dental or tooth-related and Skeletal overbites are skeletal in nature and usually refers to the upper jaw (maxilla) noticeably protruding outward. Overbites are caused by abnormities in the jaw bone, poor chewing habits or they can run in families. The best and most common treatment for patients with dental overbite is orthodontic treatment. In cases where the overbite is due to having too many teeth, tooth extractions, followed by dental braces will probably be necessary for patients that have too many teeth and crowded jaws.
An underbite is when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth, which can lead to early tooth wear. When this happens you should visit your dental practice for advice on what orthodontic treatments are available and to find out how correcting the positioning of teeth could not only improve your smile,but also bring back any loss of confidence and better overall dental health.
One of the most traditional and popular methods for correcting malocclusion has been braces. Over the years Orthodontic treatments have improved and gone are the days when you had to wear metal fixed braces (known as train tracks) that you had to wear between 12 – 18 months. You can now wear clear invisible braces like Invisalign, which provides a clear alternative to braces. They are a good option for moving your teeth gradually and gently moved into alignment and one of the best benefits of these are that no one will know that you are undergoing treatment.
For more information on how to correct your bite, visit our Norwich Orthodontics page or call Corner House Dental on 01603 621613.