Orthodontic Treatment Can Help with these Common Problems
A Class II problem is typically a shorter than normal lower jaw, which causes the upper teeth to project ahead of the lower jaw. While Class II problems are usually inherited, sometimes persistent thumb sucking can aggravate these problems. Correction of this disorder generally requires orthodontic treatment that helps bring the upper and lower jaws and teeth into their proper position.
Class III problems typically inherited. A patient with this problem may appear to have an excessively large lower jaw, but in most cases it is a lack of upper jaw development that causes the problems. A Class III patient has a lower jaw and teeth that are displaced to the front of the upper jaw structures.
Posterior crossbites usually result from a constricted upper jaw or unusually wide lower jaw. A narrow upper jaw will often force a patient to move their lower jaw forward or to the side when biting or chewing. Because the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth when biting or chewing, this can lead to future problems.
Crowding of the teeth is the most common problem requiring orthodontic care. Although many factors contribute to dental crowding, this problem usually stems from a discrepancy between space available in each jaw and the size of the teeth. Poor teeth alignment may be associated with periodontal problems and an increased risk of dental decay because it is more difficult to brush and floss teeth.
Excessive vertical overlapping of incisor teeth called “overbite” is usually due to a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. It usually results in excessive eruption of either the upper or lower incisors or both. Associated problems include excessive display of gum tissue, lip protrusion or entrapment, biting the roof of the mouth and excessive incisor wear.
A lack of vertical overlap of the incisor teeth can usually be traced to jaw disharmony or persistent habits (i.e., digit sucking habits and posturing of the tongue between the front teeth) or excessive vertical growth of one or both jaws.
Spaces between teeth are another common problem associated with the need for orthodontic care. Like crowding, spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Gum tissue attachment called “frenae” are also a common cause of spacing between the front teeth. Excessive vertical overlap of the front teeth as well as incisor protrusion may lead to spacing. Other contributing factors include atypical or unusually narrow teeth, and missing or impacted teeth.
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