Common Smile Concerns
As a Tarrytown orthodontist, Dr. Kothari uses appliances like braces and clear aligners to align the teeth and jaws. He has the expertise to correct a variety of issues. Though each patient is unique, these are the most common orthodontic problems we see at 914 Smiles:
An overbite, also referred to as overjet, is when the upper teeth stick out too far in front of the lower teeth. Nearly everyone has some degree of an overbite. However, when the space is too large, it can lead to discomfort, excessive wear and make the top front teeth more susceptible to injury.
An underbite is characterized by top teeth that sit behind the bottom teeth. It can occur when the upper and lower jaw grow at different rates. An underbite may lead to problems with chewing and speaking and it can also cause uneven wear of the teeth. Because an underbite is a skeletal issue, it’s best to have it diagnosed and treated early on. By using appliances to advance the bottom teeth during childhood, you can avoid needing surgery later in life.
When there isn’t enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth to fit properly, it’s called crowding. The teeth may overlap, twist or be shifted out of line. Crowding can occur due to the early loss of baby teeth, the permanent teeth erupting incorrectly or an imbalance in the tooth-to-jaw-size ratio. Crowding can result in tooth decay and gum disease because crowded teeth are harder to brush and floss properly.
Spacing refers to having gaps between two or more teeth. If the teeth are too narrow to fill out the jaw, you’re missing teeth or you had certain oral habits like prolonged thumb sucking, you could experience spacing. This orthodontic problem can have a negative impact on your gum health and might make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile.
A crossbite is when some of the top teeth are inside of the bottom teeth when you close your jaws. There are front crossbites and back crossbites. Crossbites can be caused by trauma, the early loss of baby teeth, genetics or certain oral habits. Patients with a crossbite will often compensate for it by moving their jaw to one side. This can lead to permanent changes in facial structure, which is why catching it early is important.
If the top and bottom teeth don’t come together when you close your mouth, it’s called an open bite. An open bite can interfere with your ability to bite and chew foods, among other problems. It may be a skeletal issue and caused by genetics or it can be the result of poor oral habits like prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use or tongue thrusting.