Identifying Your Dental Issues
If you are one of the many people who play an active role in their oral health, then you might be questioning some of the best ways to identify any dental issues you may be facing. We encourage all of our patients at Central Florida Smiles to be proactive about their teeth by being alert to potential problems. The earlier you can spot a dental issue, the sooner you can schedule an appointment with your dentist who can keep it from progressing.
Dental irregularities occur for several reasons, including trauma, genetics, teeth-grinding and more. It’s important for you and your dentist to identify and address the causes of these issues so that you can alleviate your symptoms.
Although there are so many dental issues that can affect your teeth, you can typically trace any abnormalities back to orthodontic issues that impact the general health of your smile. Here are some common dental concerns that you can begin to identify on your own.
An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending past the upper jaw, forcing your bottom teeth to protrude forward. Not only is this condition aesthetically unappealing for most patients, but also functionally debilitating since it can cause discomfort and make it difficult for you to smile and chew.
An underbite will also impact the health of your jaw, which can lead to issues with the temporomandibular joint. When TMJ disorders arise, you may become prone to frequent headaches, jaw pain, earaches and more. If you have an underbite, it’s important to consult your dentist about proper orthodontic solutions.
It’s very common to have minor gaps in your teeth that aren’t cause for medical concern, but some patients have gaps that make them self-conscious about their smile. If this sounds like you, then you are experiencing more than an aesthetic problem; this is a dental issue.
Excessive spacing can cause your teeth to shift, which is likely to affect your bite position. When your teeth move into an unnatural placement, they will experience added pressure, which can wear on your jaw.
Take note of the position your teeth are currently in and determine whether the spaces between them are causing harm to the functionality of your smile. Whether you have aesthetic or functional concerns, you dentist can help fix them.
Front teeth protrusion
When your front teeth protrude outward, they are creating unnatural space in between your remaining teeth, contributing to a number of jaw problems. Not only that, but what’s known as buck teeth can create cosmetic issues that make you self-conscious about your appearance.
Orthodontic solutions are generally the most common treatment option for protruding teeth, as a dental appliance can realign your bite position into a healthier state. With treatment, you aren’t putting yourself at risk for additional gum and jaw problems.
Crowding occurs when either the teeth are too large for the jaw or the jaw bone lacks the depth to accommodate necessary teeth. Crowded teeth can present aesthetic concerns, since your teeth are likely to appear crooked as they attempt to make room for one another. But crowding can also create issues with oral hygiene.
Teeth that are packed close together are harder to clean, which give bacteria ample time to build and make gum disease a possibility. It’s important to straighten crowded teeth so that you are able to brush and floss effectively and practice effective oral hygiene.
The opposite of an underbite, an overbite occurs when the upper dental arch extends beyond the lower arch, essentially hiding the lower teeth. It’s not uncommon for an overbite to cause the lower teeth to come into contact with the roof of the mouth, which can place added pressure on the lower teeth.
Jaw issues are likely to occur with an overbite that can cause pain throughout the face. Aligning your bite position so that your upper and lower jaw come together naturally will eliminate any additional facial pain.
In order for your bite position to be considered properly aligned, your upper and lower jaws should come together overlapping slightly; however, with an openbite, your upper and lower jaws are not able to come together at all and instead a gap is left in between the two dental arches. When this happens, chewing becomes difficult and cosmetic concerns appear as a result.
You can identify an openbite by looking at your teeth and noticing whether the front six teeth are coming together. If they don’t then it’s important you seek dental treatment that can improve the alignment of your teeth.
Although your upper and lower jaws may feel like they come together properly, they could be shifted slightly to one side, resulting in a dental midline. Normally, your teeth are situated in a way that looks symmetrical with the rest of your face, i.e. your two front teeth should sit in the middle of your lips. A dental midline, however, makes your entire smile appear off-center, which is a result of the dental arches coming together improperly. Your teeth could otherwise be perfectly straight, just slightly skewed to one side. Not only will a dental midline appear abnormal, it can create issues with your bite alignment that causes jaw pain, headaches and more.
Overall, it’s important to take regular assessments of your teeth so that you become aware of any harmful changes. If you notice that your teeth are shifting in position or you are experiencing facial pain, it’s important that you contact your dentist for a professional examination.
If you have any concerns about your smile or would like to learn more about the services we offer, contact Central Florida Smiles either in our Longwood (407-862-1870) or Lake Mary (407-805-0068) offices and schedule a consultation.