Southern Ontario Dental College

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5 Common Oral Health Issues That Orthodontists Treat

Posted in Articles, Dentistry.

Good oral health encompasses more than cavity prevention. A great smile is wonderful but did you know that award-winning smile has other benefits too?

Between the U.S. and Canada, over four million people receive orthodontic care. One of the best side effects is a gorgeous smile but that’s not the only reason for visiting the orthodontist.

The orthodontist addresses several oral health issues that affect overall health. Are you considering becoming an orthodontist? Keep reading for some of the most common issues you’ll deal with as an orthodontist.

1. Misalignment

Wouldn’t you like to keep your own teeth as you grow older? Misalignment of the jaws or teeth can cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth and dental enamel. This sometimes leads to the need for tooth extraction.

Misalignment of the jaw can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. This can cause pain, headaches, and even tinnitus.

Orthodontists can treat misalignment using braces to pull the teeth or jaw into proper position. Did you know many orthodontists started as dental hygienists?

2. Overcrowding

Some people have small jaws that can’t accommodate all their adult teeth. Overcrowding causes oral health issues such as overlapping or rotated teeth.

Overcrowding can cause teeth to come in behind the main row of teeth. Sometimes tooth extraction is necessary for correction.

An orthodontist may also use a palate expander or recommend surgery.

3. Crossbite

Do your top teeth fit behind your lower teeth when you clamp your teeth together? That’s a posterior crossbite. If your lower teeth fit behind the upper teeth, that’s an anterior crossbite.

Crossbites are a serious problem causing anything from excessive wear on the tooth enamel to a lopsided facial appearance. This is another oral health issue the orthodontist can treat.

4. Protrusion

Do you remember the kid in school everyone teased for having buck teeth? Maybe you were that kid!

The official term for buck teeth is a protrusion. It’s when the front teeth stick out. Thumb sucking is a common cause of protrusion.

A protrusion is more than a cosmetic issue. It can cause mouth breathing, inability to close the mouth properly, and tooth loss.

Excessive dryness in the mouth caused by mouth breathing also leads to tooth decay.

5. Underbite and Overbite

Many children suffer from an underbite. When the lower jaw juts forward causing the lower teeth to cover part of the upper teeth, that’s an underbite.

An underbite stresses the jaw joints and causes rapid wearing of the teeth.

An overbite is the opposite of the underbite with the upper jaw protruding over the lower jaw. An overbite also causes rapid wearing of the teeth and damaged enamel.

Orthodontists treat underbites and overbites with braces or a palate expander.

Treating Oral Health Issues

Dental hygienists, dental assistants, dentists, and orthodontists all play a part in treating oral health issues.

A dental assistant helps the dentist with many duties while a hygienist helps patients with prevention issues. From misaligned teeth to underbite and overbite issues, orthodontists fix structural mouth problems.

Are you interested in an interesting and fulfilling career? Take a look at our different dental programs and call us today!

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