Have you heard of malocclusion? While it may not ring a bell, you’ve had malocclusion if you ever had braces or a retainer. Malocclusion simply refers to having crooked teeth or a bite that isn’t properly aligned.
For many people, the answer to malocclusion is orthodontics, and about 4 million Americans have braces at any given time to help sort out bite misalignment. Despite how high that number may seem, studies estimate that 20% of the population has deviations from the ideal bite relationship, and 2% of those are severe enough to be beyond the limit of what orthodontics can correct. For these people, a full mouth reconstruction could be the answer they’ve been looking for.
Are you looking to fix your misaligned teeth or correct a bite issue that interferes with your daily life? Then come see the team at Mark Kramer, DDS in Tustin, California. Dr. Kramer and his team pride themselves on their patient-centric focus and the exceptional results their patients see. In this blog, Dr. Kramer discusses malocclusion basics, common bite problems, and what can be done to fix them.
The facts on malocclusion
In a normal bite, the upper teeth are positioned slightly forward of the lower teeth. Very few people have a bite that lines up perfectly. Malocclusion is often attributed to problems with the shape or size of the jaw or teeth. If a person’s jaw is small, their teeth become crowded and flex outward or inward as they look for space. If a person’s jaw is too big, the teeth drift apart and out of place.
Malocclusion is typically a cosmetic problem. On a health level, crooked teeth can be harder to take care of or properly clean. This can lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss if it’s allowed to go untreated. In severe cases, malocclusion can cause issues with speaking and eating.
One of the most common forms of malocclusion is crossbite. You have a crossbite when one or more upper teeth fit inside your lower teeth. Crossbite can affect just one tooth or a group of teeth. It’s more likely a tooth issue than a jaw issue. Most crossbites are merely cosmetic, but a severe crossbite can have the following symptoms:
- Jaw or tooth pain
- Tooth decay
- Sleep apnea
- TMJ disorders
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulty speaking or forming certain sounds
Crossbite can occur with front and back teeth.
Whereas a crossbite is associated with teeth, underbite occurs when the lower jaw protrudes past the upper jaw. Underbite can be caused by genetics, an injury to the jaw, or bad childhood habits, like extended thumb sucking, that warp the jaw while it is forming. Severe underbite can cause issues with speaking and chewing. Additionally, an underbite puts more wear and tear on the front teeth, which makes them susceptible to chipping and breaks.
A full mouth reconstruction can help
You don’t have to live with common bite problems, and a full mouth reconstruction can help restore function and increase your self-esteem. During a full mouth reconstruction, Dr. Kramer combines multiple treatments and redesigns the architecture of your mouth from the ground up. For those with bite issues, this will probably include tooth extractions, which can solve overcrowding and crossbite. The treatment should give you a healthier mouth that looks better and functions more effectively.
To learn more about full mouth reconstruction and if it’s right for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mark Kramer, DDS today.