When Do You Need To See An Orthodontist?

Do you think your teeth would do with better teeth alignment? The first thought that comes to mind is to go see a dentist. But the medical professional you should see is an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in dealing with the way the teeth and the jaws look. When should you see an orthodontist?

Pain in the Teeth, Gums, and Jawbone

An orthodontist is foremost a dentist. They can diagnose various oral problems, including painful teeth or gums. The orthodontist will assess what is ailing your teeth or gums and determine if there is a deeper problem. You can then have a diagnosis chart to deal with the problem comprehensively.

Problems with Teeth Alignment

Misalignment of the teeth is also called malocclusion. There are different malocclusions that differ in severity:

  • Crowding — Too many teeth in a small space causing some to appear crooked
  • Overjet — Upper jaw protrudes than the lower jaw
  • Open bite — The upper and lower teeth do not overlap, leaving an open gap
  • Crossbite — The upper teeth overlap into the inner line of the lower teeth
  • Overbite — Upper teeth overlap the lower teeth and bite into lower gum

Malocclusion causes several problems depending on its severity:

  • Constant accidental bites of the tongue, inside of the cheeks and tongue
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Changes in appearance especially when the lower jaw protrudes more than expected

An orthodontist fixes malocclusion in several ways:

  • Removing overcrowding teeth
  • Fixing braces to change the position of the teeth
  • Fixing dental retainers to fix misaligned teeth
  • Bonding and reshaping teeth
  • Performing surgery to fix lower jaw length

Breathing and Sleeping Problems

Misaligned and crowded teeth can push the tongue back into the airway, causing breathing problems. Sleep apnea is a sleeping problem caused by breathing problems. An orthodontist can help ease breathing problems by aligning the dental structure in a way that the airways are cleared for easier breathing.

Difficulty in Articulation

Dental misalignment can cause difficulties in articulating certain sounds. For example, "s" sounds come out as "th" so "sounds" come out as "thounds." Misarticulation can cause difficulties in communication and loss of confidence. Realignment of the teeth can ease this problem.

Are you or your loved one having problems with oral health and dental arrangement in particular? Book an appointment with a licensed orthodontist for a diagnosis and treatment to smile with confidence again.

For more information, contact an orthodontist in your area.