Dental issues are a pain, literally. They can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and a whole host of other problems that are not only difficult to deal with but also often expensive to fix.
When people experience dental problems, dentists are the first professionals they typically contact. But you might also be referred to an orthodontist, who along with specializing in aligning teeth and jaws, have a unique set of skills that can help treat many different dental issues as well.
Some of the most common problems an orthodontist can help with are:
Overbites, underbites, and even crossbites involve the upper and lower teeth not aligning properly. Orthodontists can help correct these bite issues by using braces, retainers, and other corrective dental appliances.
Bruxism or teeth grinding occurs when teeth are ground together, leading to jaw pain and headaches. Teeth grinding can also cause damage to the enamel of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.
An orthodontist can fit you with a special mouth guard that will prevent your teeth from coming into contact while you sleep or during periods of heightened stress. This mouth guard is made from custom-fitted acrylic and helps to protect the teeth from further damage.
An orthodontist can also help you with TMJ disorders. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, which is the joint that connects your skull and jawbone and allows you to open and close your mouth. When this joint becomes inflamed or damaged due to injury or misalignment, it can cause a wide range of painful symptoms, such as headaches, jaw pain, earaches, neck pain, clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth, and difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
Fortunately, an orthodontist can help diagnose and treat TMJ disorder by analyzing the structure of your jaw and facial muscles to determine if there’s an underlying cause.
Since orthodontists are specialized dentists, they can also treat gum diseases. A gum disease, such as gingivitis, is an infection and inflammation in the gums caused by bacteria that accumulate on the teeth. Symptoms of this condition include red, swollen, and tender gums, bleeding during brushing or flossing, and receding gums.
Options for Treatment
These are the possible treatment options an orthodontist may recommend depending on your dental condition:
Braces are brackets and wires attached to the teeth in order to adjust their position and alignment over time. Nowadays, there are clear braces to make the process of orthodontic treatment more aesthetically pleasing. They can be used for more severe cases of malocclusion, such as severely crooked or gapped teeth, overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
Retainers are used to stabilize the teeth after braces or aligners have been removed. They can be removable or fixed to the backside of the teeth and are worn for an extended period of time to ensure that the teeth remain in their new position once treatment is complete.
Aligners are clear and removable trays that fit around the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position. They are often used for mild cases of misalignment, such as crowding or spacing issues.
Space maintainers are used to keep the space between teeth open, preventing crowding and other issues. They can be removable or fixed appliances that are worn for an extended period of time.
Palatal expanders are used to widen the dental arch and create more space for crowded teeth. They can be removable or fixed appliances that are worn for an extended period of time.
Lip and Cheek Bumpers
Lip and cheek bumpers are used to prevent the lips or cheeks from pushing against the teeth, which can cause misalignment. They can be fixed appliances that are worn for an extended period of time.
Why Seek the Help of an Orthodontist?
Orthodontists are dental health professionals who specialize in correcting misaligned teeth, jaws, and facial structures. They are highly skilled and experienced in the use of braces, retainers, headgear, and other corrective devices to realign teeth and restore a proper bite.
Bay Area Orthodontics is here to provide you with the best orthodontic care as your premier orthodontist in the Sunnyvale, California area. Whatever your concerns may be around improving your smile we invite you in for a complementary visit with one of our orthodontists. We use the latest, state-of-the-art technology, and have a commitment to patient comfort to ensure your orthodontic treatment is successful. Book an appointment today and get the smile you deserve.