Orthodontic treatment is aimed at changing the position of teeth, in order to correct for dental and facial irregularities.
Why is tooth position important?
If there is a problem in the way the upper and lower teeth make contact while biting or chewing, teeth may wear and fracture, and jaw joints and muscles may be strained and damaged. Over time, this may result in tooth loss or TMJ pain. It may affect a person’s ability to eat, speak, and sleep comfortably.
What causes tooth position problems?
Tooth position problems may be inherited or acquired. Inherited conditions may include missing or extra teeth, crowding or spacing of teeth, abnormal formations of the jaw and face, and more. And acquired conditions may be due to airway development issues, tongue positioning, enlarged tonsils that lead to mouth breathing, clenching and grinding, thumb sucking, premature loss of teeth from infection or accident, medical conditions, and side effects or late effects of medication.
What are the treatment options?
Traditional orthodontic braces are often used to correct tooth position problems. Orthodontics can also be completed using Invisalign, which is a series of clear aligner trays that progressively add more pressure on the teeth to gradually and predictably move them into correct position. Also, depending on the severity and complexity of the correction, a combination of therapies, including surgery, may be involved.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.