Orthodontic Treatment for Jaw Misalignment
When your teeth do not fit well together, then it is known as a condition called jaw misalignment. The two most common types of jaw misalignment are an overbite or an underbite. Having jaw misalignment can not only negatively affect your self-image, but it can also lead to a variety of health complications such as difficulty eating, breathing, and communicating clearly. Some of our patients may also experience pain in their jaw. When we encounter patients here at Dr. Tim Dumore & Team with jaw misalignment, we have a variety of treatment options available to them to help them put their jaw back in alignment and allow them to feel both comfortable and attractive again.
What Do I Need to Know About Jaw Misalignment?
Having a jaw misaligned is surprisingly common; some studies indicate that up to 75 percent of the American adult population may have some degree of jaw misalignment. Two of the most common types of jaw misalignment we see here in our office include an overbite and an underbite. An overbite occurs when your teeth do not rest together properly, and your upper teeth close over the bottom teeth. A slight overbite of fewer than two millimeters is fairly common for our patients with an overbite, but some patients have a more severe degree of overbite.
An underbite occurs as the opposite of an overbite. When the bottom teeth rest over the upper teeth, then that means that you have an underbite. Underbites cause the bottom teeth to stick out beyond the upper teeth, leading to a "bulldog" like appearance. Underbites are also known as prognathism. Fortunately, we can treat both overbites and underbites here in our office.
One of the more common ways that we treat jaw misalignment is with dental braces. Many people believe that braces are only for teenagers or that they only treat crooked teeth. That could not be further than the truth. They can also help with jaw misalignment issues and can help adjust your bite to help it fit comfortably together again. This treatment works very well for overbites and can take between a year to two years to complete.
For our patients with an underbite, they may benefit better from an upper jaw (or palatal) expander. Upper jaw expanders fit across the soft palate and are comprised of metal wires and brackets that are adjusted with a screw in the center of it. The upper jaw expander is adjusted daily by subtly turning the screw until the alignment of the upper jaw is where we want it to be. Treatment for an underbite with an upper jaw expander can take between three to six months to complete.
Getting treatment for jaw misalignment can help greatly improve your quality of life. Many of our patients have significant improvement in their jaw pain, eating, breathing, and communication after treatment with braces or upper jaw expanders for their overbites or their underbites. To learn more about the various treatment options for jaw misalignment that we offer to our patients here, or to schedule a consultation with us here at Dr. Tim Dumore & Team, please give us a call today at 204-809-6026!