Beautiful smiles are timeless. They look great on everyone, regardless of age or other personal characteristics. Many features add up to an attractive smile, including the positioning of the teeth. Misalignment is not simply crooked teeth. Known as “malocclusion,” there are many ways that the relationship between the teeth (and the opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws) can become imbalanced. Identifying the type and severity of malocclusion is critical; Royal Dental Practice in West Hills, California, uses this information to recommend an effective treatment plan.
Teeth crowding often contributes to malocclusion. Your teeth may simply be too big for your mouth, or they may be crooked. Additionally, your upper and lower jaws may need to “get in alignment.” We refer to the relationship between the teeth in the upper and lower jaws as your “bite.” It is perfectly normal for the teeth in the upper jaws to slightly overlap the opposing teeth in the lower jaws; however, more significant protrusion of the upper jaw indicates an “overbite.” Likewise, the opposite problem (the protrusion of the lower jaw) is referred to as an “underbite.”
Malocclusion or “bad bite” is more than a source of cosmetic concern and embarrassment. The imbalances that are present can place significant strain on the jaw joints, muscles, and tissues. Patients may experience TMJ-like symptoms, ranging from widespread facial and jaw pain to impaired mobility and jaw stiffness. Individuals may find that they often bite the inside of their mouths, especially when eating. This can produce uncomfortable sores. Chewing efficiency is also impaired and can take away the enjoyment we get from eating our foods.
Plus, misaligned teeth and jaws are a breeding ground for the leading causes of tooth loss: tooth decay and gum disease. After all, it is much harder to clean easily and effectively between crowded or crooked teeth. Food particles naturally get trapped in tight spaces, too.
Fortunately, patients with misaligned jaws and teeth have more options than ever before to restore the health and beauty of their smiles. Modern braces are lighter, more comfortable to wear, and discreet. They can even be designed with brackets and wires that blend into the teeth. An entire category of braces alternatives has also emerged. These alternatives generally use a series of clear aligner trays to gently and gradually reposition the teeth. The trays can be removed when eating and cleaning the teeth. They are also made with clear and smooth plastic. So, they are easy to wear – no one sees them in your smile!
We are happy to provide more details about your options during a consultation. Schedule your visit today by calling Royal Dental Practice at (818) 334-6655. We also make house calls! Be sure to ask about our convenient mobile dentistry service.
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