Here at Sunshine Smiles, we’re proud to offer a range of affordable treatment options to patients of all ages from our Kingston, Rhinebeck, and New Paltz offices. As a full-service dental office, we provide everything from pediatric dentistry and prosthodontics to oral surgery and orthodontics. The latter allows us to not only improve the cosmetic appearance of a patient’s smile but also correct many different issues with their bite.
This is an important service because teeth that are in the wrong position can affect your ability to chew, speak, and even sleep properly. These malocclusions can also increase the amount of wear and tear on the teeth, which can cause its own set of complications. If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be wondering if orthodontic treatment can help. It can!
By using orthodontic appliances like braces and Invisalign clear aligners, our expert team can bring your teeth and jaw into alignment. This will improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile, and improve its overall function as well, leaving you with teeth that feel as good as they look! To learn a bit more about the most common bite issues orthodontics can solve, keep reading below.
When there is a misalignment present in your mouth, the upper and lower teeth may not be able to meet comfortably. An abnormal bite like this can wear the tooth enamel down, which may lead to chipping and thinning over time. As a specialist orthodontist, Dr. Mansour can use orthodontic appliances to move the upper jaw forward or backward into alignment. This will allow the teeth to meet, creating a more functional bite. In more severe cases, jaw surgery may be required along with braces or clear aligners to achieve the best results.
Crowded or crooked teeth
Sometimes a patient will have too many teeth for their dental ridge to accommodate. In other cases, the teeth may fit but are crooked or twisted. Whatever the reason, this issue can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively. This gives food particles and bacteria a chance to build up, particularly along the gum line. When plaque and tartar accumulate this way, it can increase the risk of developing gum disease. When overcrowding is the problem, we can remove one or more teeth to open up space in the mouth. We’ll then use braces or aligners to straighten out the remaining teeth.
Excess spacing, also known as diastema, is one of the most common issues we see in our practice. A gap between the two front teeth is often caused by an overgrowth of the gum tissue that borders these teeth, but diastema can occur for any number of reasons. This includes teeth that don’t grow in properly, the size of the jaw, and incorrect swallowing reflexes. We can use orthodontic appliances to close any gaps in the teeth, improving the overall appearance of the smile.
An overbite happens when the upper teeth sit too far forward over the lower teeth. When a deep overbite is present, the lower teeth recede so far behind the upper teeth that they bite into the roof of the mouth. This is detrimental to the teeth and the health of the jaw joints, and may also impact the shape and appearance of the face.
If you have a mild to moderate overbite, we can use braces or clear aligners to shift the upper teeth back towards the lower teeth. More severe overbites may be treated with orthodontics alone or may require orthodontics and restorative dentistry together. Our practice can handle both! Correcting an overbite will improve the functionality of the teeth and the appearance of the smile.
An underbite occurs when the bottom teeth protrude in front of the upper teeth. This type of bite misalignment can cause pain at the jaw joint, an unbalanced facial appearance, and uneven wear and tear on the teeth. Using braces, we can move the upper or lower teeth on their own, or both the upper and lower teeth together.
In severe cases of underbite, jaw surgery may be required in conjunction with orthodontics to correct the underbite. Again, this is often something our full-spectrum practice will be able to do. Treatment will help to relieve any pain and discomfort associated with the underbite. It can also make it easier for you to smile, eat, and even breathe more normally.
A crossbite occurs when the lower teeth cover one or more of the upper teeth when you bite down. This irregular contact can happen in several places in the mouth and may cause headaches and jaw pain. It can also increase the chances of tooth decay and abnormal wear of the teeth. More serious cases of crossbite can lead to tooth fractures, receding gums, and asymmetrical growth of the jaw in children.
Orthodontic appliances like braces and Invisalign aligners can be very effective at treating various forms of crossbite. Along with aligning the upper and lower teeth, they can help us achieve some degree of skeletal realignment for a patient. This is particularly effective when they’re used in conjunction with expanders, elastics, and additional appliances.
With an open bite, the upper and lower rows of the front teeth don’t touch or close when smiling or chewing. Many open bites come from extended thumb sucking or pacifier use in childhood, which can cause the teeth to grow into a noticeably rounded formation. Whatever the underlying reason for it, an open bite can cause difficulty in biting down and may result in lisps and other speech issues.
We’ll often treat open bites with a combination of braces and an orthodontic appliance known as a “crib.” This device prevents the tongue from putting pressure against the anterior teeth when swallowing, and in doing so, trains it to swallow correctly. Once treatment is complete, the newly aligned bite will allow you to smile, eat, and speak with ease.
When an excess overjet is present, the top front teeth will protrude far beyond the bottom front teeth. This results in the condition more commonly known as “buck teeth.” An overjet can be hereditary, but it may also be caused by external factors like thumb sucking, prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle, or excessive tongue thrusting. This can lead to speech issues, difficulty biting and chewing, and an inability to completely close the lips. It may also result in an irregular facial appearance. Orthodontic treatment can effectively treat overjets, diminishing the distance between the top and bottom teeth.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects the jaw and the skull. In some cases, a misalignment between the upper and lower teeth where the teeth meet can put pressure on the TMJ. In turn, patients may experience pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint, or neck. There might also be pain in or around the ear when chewing or speaking, and difficulty when yawning or otherwise opening the mouth wide. Braces or aligners can correctly align the upper and lower teeth to prevent irregular pressure on the temporomandibular joint, reducing or eliminating the symptoms associated with TMD.
Find your best bite with Sunshine Smiles
If you’ve been struggling with a bad bite, Sunshine Smiles is here to help! Our personalized treatment plans, cutting-edge technology, and innovative techniques will be able to bring your smile into perfect alignment. If you’d like to learn more about how orthodontics can improve your oral health, get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with Dr. Mansour and the rest of our expert team!