Jaw alignment issues, often referred to as malocclusions, can lead to a range of dental and health problems. These issues can affect chewing, speaking, and even the overall structure of the face. Fortunately, advances in dentistry mean we can offer a range of treatments to address these problems and restore proper jaw function. At Dentistry Thirty Two, we have a wealth of experience in common jaw alignment issues and can help manage and correct them.

Common Jaw Alignment Issues

  • Overbite An overbite happens when the patient’s upper teeth extend too far over the lower teeth. While a slight overbite is normal, a severe overbite can cause dental issues such as tooth wear, jaw pain, and difficulty chewing.
  • Underbite An underbite is where the lower teeth stick out beyond the upper teeth. Underbites can cause issues with chewing and speaking, as well as increased wear on the teeth.
  • Crossbite A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth. This misalignment can affect both teeth and gums and can lead to uneven tooth wear, gum disease, and bone loss.
  • Open Bite An open bite describes when the upper and lower teeth aren’t touching when the mouth is closed, leaving a gap. Open bites can make it challenging to chew food properly and can lead to speech difficulties.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders TMJ disorders affect the joints connecting the jawbone to the skull. Symptoms can include jaw pain, headaches, clicking or popping sounds when using the jaw, and stiffness or soreness when chewing.

Causes of Jaw Alignment Issues

Jaw alignment issues can result from various factors, including:

  • Genetics: Inherited traits can influence the size and shape of both the jaw and the teeth, which can lead to alignment issues.
  • Thumb Sucking: Prolonged thumb sucking during childhood can cause the teeth to misalign.
  • Injury: Trauma to the jaw can disrupt its alignment.
  • Poor Dental Habits: Habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism) and nail-biting can contribute to misalignment over time.
Maple Ridge Dental Jaw Alignment

How our Maple Ridge Dentist Team Can Help

Dentists have several methods to diagnose and treat jaw alignment issues, ensuring better oral health and overall well-being. Here are some common treatments and interventions:

  • Orthodontics Braces and clear aligners (like Invisalign) are excellent orthodontic treatment options that can be used to correct misaligned teeth and jaws. These devices gradually shift the teeth into the correct position, improving the bite and overall jaw alignment.
  • Orthopedic Appliances For growing children and adolescents, orthopedic appliances like palatal expanders can help guide jaw growth and correct alignment issues before they become more severe.
  • Dental Restorations Crowns, bridges, and veneers can help correct bite issues by altering the shape and size of the teeth, ensuring a better fit between the upper and lower jaws.
  • TMJ Treatment Dentists can provide various treatments for TMJ disorders, including mouthguards to prevent teeth grinding, physical therapy to help strengthen the jaw muscles, and medications to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Behavioural Therapies Addressing habits like thumb-sucking or nail-biting can prevent further misalignment. Dentists can provide guidance and tools, such as habit-breaking appliances, to help patients overcome these behaviours.

Preventive Measures

Maintaining good oral hygiene and booking periodic dental check-ups are crucial in preventing and managing jaw alignment issues. Dentists can monitor the development of children’s teeth and jaws and intervene early if they see problems arising. Our experienced dental team will provide guidance on maintaining healthy dental habits at every visit.

In Summary

Jaw alignment issues can significantly impact oral health and quality of life, but with the right dental care, they can be effectively managed and corrected. Our dental team has a variety of tools at their disposal to help patients achieve proper jaw alignment and enjoy a healthy, functional smile. If you suspect you have a jaw alignment issue, don’t hesitate to contact our team for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.