Information about dentistry Nigeria

A bad bite can cause you problems

A bad bite can cause you problems such as TMJ disorder

Proper alignment of your teeth and jaws are key factors in your long-term dental health. Malocclusion is the technical term used by orthodontists for crooked, crowded or protruding teeth which do not fit together properly. Literally, the word means "bad bite." Most malocclusions are inherited although some are acquired i.e. they can be caused by factors such as thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, dental disease, premature loss of baby or permanent teeth, accidents or some medical problems. Malocclusion or ‘incorrect bite’ may involve crowding of teeth, improper spacing or upper and lower teeth that do not fit together correctly.

Although typical orthodontic patients look forward to having a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, braces also have a significant positive impact on long-term health. As one orthodontist explains “Growing up with improperly aligned teeth and jaws can cause a variety of problems later in life”.

As we mature, untreated bite problems can continue to worsen. Crowded teeth can be very difficult to keep clean, and may result in tooth decay, gum disease and be a disadvantage socially. Also over a period of time, an incorrect bite may lead to abnormal wear or breakdown of tooth surfaces and to damage of the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth.

Because a high standard of dental hygiene is compulsory for orthodontic patients, orthodontists provide extensive education of patients in relation to proper brushing and flossing techniques, with follow-up and reinforcement at each orthodontic appointment. Good eating habits are also encouraged and in combination with good orthodontic treatment and excellent dental hygiene, a positive difference in future health can be achieved. Orthodontic treatment can benefit adults as well as children because healthy teeth, bones and gums respond well to orthodontic treatment at almost any age. It really is never too late to have a beautiful smile or correct bite.

It is easy to take eating for granted if you have always had a normal bite, for some, however, this can be an ordeal or embarrassment. One patient’s troubles with chewing were especially unpleasant and best characterised by his statement “I couldn’t even bite into a sandwich.” Nowadays, thanks to the art and science of orthodontics, countless individuals can look forward to greater convenience and function.

Starting treatment in your older years might cause slight initial embarrassment, but you should never condemn yourself to a lifetime of dissatisfaction, like many adults who missed or were never presented with opportunities to have straighter teeth.

Patients who have covered their teeth during social interaction for many years feel liberated after a short course of orthodontic treatment. By removing physical and psychological obstacles such as crowding or spacing your self-esteem can be boosted.

You don’t need to feel that you are wasting the specialist’s time by seeking consultation or treatment because you are a taking a positive step toward self improvement.

“It’s fantastic”, says Christine Grover, an adult orthodontic patient. “Now I smile broadly and look people straight in the eye!” Today, many of her friends are in her orthodontist’s care. Hopefully you now understand that teeth can be moved at any age and what the benefits are of investing in a beautiful and healthy smile. It is important to note that your treatment can be conducted without compromising your lifestyle - your braces do not have to show! Orthodontists now use ‘high-tech’ aesthetic materials that are light-years away from the "metal-mouth-look” familiar with teenagers. Some recent innovations for adults include clear removable plastic aligners, tooth-coloured brackets & ‘white system braces’ which are amongst the options available to you.

As one orthodontist observes, “When braces change your looks, they change your outlook too.” Orthodontics can be credited for dramatic improvements in the careers and personal relationships of those who have grasped the opportunity.

how to detect bite problems:

  • Abnormal wear or breakdown of tooth surfaces
  • Loosening teeth & gaps between the teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Difficulty cleaning certain areas between the teeth
  • Localised tooth decay or gum disease
  • Jaw aches & pains
  • Non specific tooth ache or pains
  • You feel uncomfortable when your teeth meet

Problem bite

Problem: Unattractive appearance. Teeth are hard to clean or maintain and will decay more readily.

Corrected bite

Corrected: Braces have created a healthy, attractive smile. The teeth are now easier to clean.

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