Alpharetta, Georgia – Do you have teeth that are too crowded or overlapping? Do you also suffer from frequent headaches? An improper bite could be the source of your pain.
“There are so many reasons why teeth are misaligned,” says Dr. Nima Hajibaik, an Alpharetta dental orthodontist. “In some cases, a mouth is simply too small to comfortably accommodate all teeth, while other patients may have disproportionately sized jaws. Unfortunately, this does more than just make for an unsightly smile, it can lead to broken, cracked or worn teeth.”
But there is good news for those who suffer from the symptoms of a bad bite. Bite correction is obtainable through Johns Creek orthodontics. Your teeth are part of a much larger system of muscles and joints that can affect your head, neck and other parts of your body. Correcting your bite can have long lasting effects, and can relieve pain you might not even have known was related to your teeth.
Why do some people have poor bites? For some, genetics may come into play, and for others it may simply be bad luck. Underbites, overbites and crooked teeth are physical traits, in the same way that blue eyes or red hair are. Other factors that can affect a bite are losing teeth, periodontal disease, jaw injuries, or an uneven crown or filling. Bad habits can also result in a poor bite. Tongue thrusting and extended thumb-sucking, and pacifier or bottle use can be contributing factors.
Another very important contributing factor is the way children posture their mouth during the growth period. If young children are mouth breathers and constantly have their mouth open, the consequences can be very significant in the development of jaws, face and airway.
One of the most important things to remember is to fix the problem early to avoid problems later in life. Common problems include:
- Lower self-esteem due to your less than ideal smile.
- Improper chewing that can result in uneven wear on the teeth and deterioration of the jaw.
- Speech impediments.
- Straining of the jaw that can result in Temporomandibular disorder.
- Difficulty keeping the teeth clean, leading to periodontal disease.
How do you know if you need bite correction? In many cases, simply looking at the teeth may be enough. But in other cases, an orthodontist such as Dr. Hajibaik, will need to examine the patient.
“Sometimes the teeth may not appear crooked, but the patient may still exhibit other signs of a bad bite,” says Dr. Hajibaik, who is a certified Invisalign provider. “Facial abnormalities, while very small, may be present, as will small issues in how the teeth line up. After a thorough examination, I’ll be able to determine the seriousness of a bite problem, and create a treatment plan to correct it.”
During that examination, the orthodontist will take photos and X-rays, and sometimes even molds or impressions, of the teeth. The X-rays will give the orthodontist a clear picture of the positioning of the teeth and their roots, as well as if other teeth are still waiting to come in. They’ll also show the relationship of the head, jaw and mouth.
After the orthodontist determines the exact issue or issues affecting the patient, he or she can work with the patient to craft a treatment plan specifically designed to meet their needs. Braces are the best treatment option for most improperly aligned teeth. Some patients may need only a retainer to put pressure on the teeth to keep them in a better location. Some patients may require jaw surgery or tooth extraction to achieve the ideal bite. Your orthodontist will help you determine the proper course of action to not only give you a more beautiful smile, but a properly functioning one, as well.
“A lot of people may think braces and other orthodontic treatment are only about appearances, and therefor opt to skip them,” says Dr. Hajibaik. “But it is so important to have a mouth that functions properly. Your body is a sophisticated system that is intricately related, so other issues you have could be related to your bad bite without you even realizing it.”
Have you decided that the tension headaches you frequently suffer from are just your lot in life? In truth, your jaw could actually be causing those pains. If your jaw is forced to work overtime because your teeth don’t naturally fit together properly, the muscles in your temple area where the upper jaw is located can spasm and produce pain. This pain can then extend into the forehead, causing a tension headache.
Does your spouse or partner snore at night, keeping you from a good night’s rest? A visit to the orthodontist may be able to correct that, too.
Do you have broken or cracked teeth? An improper bite means you’ll have distorted movements when biting and chewing, leading to broken and chipped teeth.
Do your teeth look or feel worn down? “Bruxing” or tooth grinding can also be a problem associated with a bad bite. This typically occurs during sleep, so you may not even realize you’re doing it. But if you wake up with a headache or aching jaws, it can be an indication you’ve been grinding your teeth.
The earlier bite correction is addressed, the better the outcomes will be. Parents should pay close attention to the mouths of their children. It is recommended that children have their first orthodontic appointment at the age of seven. This is important so that the orthodontist can catch any problems as the child grows, correcting them before the jaw finishes growing. Once jaw growth is complete, patients may require jaw surgery to correct their bites.
While most patients won’t require orthodontic treatment at such a young age, others may need assistance to properly guide their permanent teeth into proper locations. In this instance, your child may require two phases of treatment. Your orthodontist will be able to help your child achieve the most beautiful and best working smile possible.
While most people associate orthodontic treatment with children and teens, you’re never too old to get the smile you deserve. Treatment may be more extensive as an adult, but it is important to correct your bite to avoid other problems not just with your oral health, but your overall health as well. Don’t put it off any longer – call Dr. Hajibaik for a consultation today.
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