Improving the Bite with Orthodontic Treatments
By Kellyn Hodges on October 19, 2014
Therapy with traditional braces and other orthodontic appliances is not always prescribed simply to improve the appearance of one’s smile, though that is an important result of virtually all orthodontic treatment. In many cases, however, the primary purpose of orthodontic treatment is to improve the function and health of the mouth. This is particularly true among patients who suffer from malocclusion, otherwise known as “bad bites.”
At the renowned orthodontics practice of Dr. Kellyn W. Hodges in Philadelphia, bite alignment treatment can help patients with malocclusion to achieve dramatically better bites and all of the advantages that follow. Dr. Hodges has the skill, experience, and training to correct every type of malocclusion, no matter how severe, and to help her patients enjoy optimal oral health.
What Is a “Bite”?
In dentistry, the “bite” - clinically known as occlusion - refers to the relationship between the upper and lower teeth when they meet, both when the jaw is at rest and when it is in motion, as when one is chewing or speaking. A person’s oral health and ability to eat and speak with ease and comfort are directly proportional to the harmoniousness of this relationship.
Unfortunately, many people have faulty bites. The worse a person’s bite is, the more likely that person will require orthodontic intervention.
Types of Malocclusion
There are several types of malocclusion that can be addressed through orthodontic treatment, including:
- Crossbite: The upper teeth rest either inside or outside the lower teeth when the jaw is closed.
- Overbite: The upper teeth overlap onto the lower teeth, even touching the lower gums in severe cases.
- Underbite: A type of crossbite in which the lower teeth are particularly prominent due to being extremely forward in the mouth compared to the top teeth.
- Open bite: The front teeth of the upper and lower jaws do not meet when the mouth is closed.
Additionally, if a person is missing one or more of their natural teeth, or if they have teeth that are disproportionately small compared to their jaws, they may face spacing issues. Teeth tend to drift out of their optimal positions toward open spaces, which can affect the integrity of the bite.
Benefits of Improving the Bite with Orthodontic Treatments
Bite problems can affect a person’s quality of life in many profoundly negative ways. Fortunately, the effects of improving the bite with orthodontic treatments can be equally profound, but in a positive way. The benefits of improving the bite with braces or another orthodontic treatment include:
- Easier biting and chewing: Severe bite issues can make chewing inefficient and biting extremely difficult. An improved bite can make eating much easier.
- Easier speaking: Malocclusion can interfere with proper speech, a problem that can be resolved with orthodontic treatment.
- Avoidance of TMJ disorder: Faulty bites can lead to TMJ disorder, a painful disorder involving the joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull.
- A healthier, more attractive smile: Along with improved function comes a more beautiful smile!
Learn More about Improving Bite Problems with Orthodontics
To learn more about improving the bite with orthodontic treatments, please contact the practice of Dr. Kellyn W. Hodges today.