Malocclusion is a big word for a bad bite. If your teeth are misaligned, you could have a bad bite that causes problems with chewing, jaw pain, and an unattractive smile. Dr. Brad Leiker and the team at our offices in The Woodlands and Conroe, TX are here to help you get your teeth back on track.
Dr. Leiker is an orthodontist who uses The Roth Technique when creating treatment plans for his patients. This technique pays careful attention to where your lower jaw is positioned so when you bite, the pressure is spread out over all of your teeth evenly. Adhering to this technique is good for your teeth, gums, and jaw. Without this technique, the joint in your jaw, your TMJ, might come out of position when you chew, and over time can lead to muscle strain, headaches, and nighttime teeth grinding.
Types Of Malocclusion
When you see drawings or models of cavemen, you’ll notice they have larger jaws and bigger teeth. Over time, our jaws and teeth have grown smaller in response to our diets. We now cook our meals and have access to a larger variety of foods. This means our teeth and jaws don’t have to work as hard and have adjusted accordingly. However, this change hasn’t happened smoothly, and sometimes our jaws are too big or too small for our teeth. This can create crowding, gaps, and a bad bite.
Other causes of malocclusion are extended thumb sucking or pacifier use, the habitual pressing of your tongue against your teeth, mouth breathing, injury, or certain health issues.
There are several types of irregular ways for your teeth to come together:
- Overbite – Top teeth go over your bottom teeth when your teeth come together
- Underbite – Bottom teeth go over your top teeth when your teeth come together
- Crossbite – Your front teeth go over your bottom teeth while your back teeth go over your top teeth or vice versa
- Open bite – Your back teeth come together and create a significant opening between your front teeth
Malocclusion also refers to gaps between your teeth, overcrowded teeth, and teeth that are at a twisted angle.
An exam and X-rays with Dr. Leiker can determine the state of your bite, and he can create a treatment plan that will improve the appearance of your teeth and make chewing more enjoyable.
Symptoms Of Malocclusion
Some symptoms you may be experiencing if your malocclusion is severe enough for treatment are issues breathing, speaking, or chewing and displeasure with the appearance of your smile.
Anything that affects your ease of doing something as routine as eating, breathing, or speaking is an issue you need to address.
Treatment For Malocclusion
Dr. Leiker might recommend braces for your malocclusion treatment. Braces work like crowd control for your mouth. They will get your teeth into alignment so your teeth can come together properly. Dr. Leiker might also recommend treatment that expands your jaw to create more space for your teeth. If you are grinding your teeth, he can also suggest treatment that will prevent your teeth from being worn down or possibly even fracturing.
Malocclusion At Any Age
While anyone can suffer from malocclusion at any age, bringing your children in for early treatment can help them sidestep years worth of symptoms. When you bring your child in by the age of 7, many of their adult teeth have already emerged, and this can give Dr. Leiker insight into how the rest will come in. Early treatment frequently gives your orthodontist the ability to address overcrowding without having to remove any of your child’s permanent teeth.
Since children are still growing, it’s also easier to expand their jaws and move their teeth into place than it can be for adults. Early age orthodontic treatment can also improve the appearance of your child’s face by correcting their jaw and teeth that might push their lips forward.
Dr. Leiker has treated patients of all ages and took a year-long course that taught him techniques for treating children 6 to 10 years of age. Our office is family friendly, and we look forward to offering treatment to anyone in your family. We do braces for both adults and teens.
When you sit down for a good meal, you should be able to focus on how good every bite is and not be distracted by how much pain each bite is causing you. When you call us at 832-510-6678 or use our convenient online form, we can answer any questions you might have and get you in for treatment that will bring you relief.