We all have unique facial features that make us who we are. For some of us, our faces are perfectly symmetrical. For others, our faces may be slightly asymmetrical. And while a little asymmetry can add character to our faces, too much asymmetry can cause problems with both our appearance and our oral health.
Luckily, orthodontics can help to correct facial asymmetry and improve the symmetry of your smile. But how does it work? Let’s take a closer look.
What Causes Facial Asymmetry?
Facial asymmetry can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Misaligned teeth or jaws
- Birth defects
- The early loss of baby teeth
- Habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
- Trauma to the face or jaw
- Infection or tumors in the mouth or jaw area
How Can Orthodontists Help Facial Asymmetry?
Orthodontics can help to correct facial asymmetry in a number of ways, depending on the underlying cause of the facial asymmetry.
Some common treatments for facial asymmetry include:
Braces or Invisalign®
By aligning the teeth and jaws, braces can help to improve the symmetry of your smile. In some cases, headgear may also be used to correct severe cases of misalignment.
Palatal expanders are devices that are used to gradually widen the upper jaw. This treatment is often used for patients who have narrow upper jaws, which can cause facial asymmetry.
In some cases, orthognathic surgery may be necessary to correct severe cases of misaligned teeth and jaws. This type of surgery is usually reserved for patients who have not had success with other forms of treatment.
Types of Facial Asymmetry That Orthodontists Treat
Orthodontists can help with a wide variety of facial asymmetries. Here we will discuss four of the most common:
- Open bite
Orthodontic Treatment For Overbite
Orthodontists commonly treat patients with overbites, but the severity of the overbite will dictate the orthodontic treatment required to correct it. Many people have some degree of an overbite, which is when the upper teeth protrude further out than the lower teeth. In some cases, an overbite can be caused by genetics, but it can also be the result of thumb-sucking or other habits during childhood.
An overbite can impact both the appearance of your smile and your oral health. For instance, people with an overbite are more likely to experience gum problems and tooth wear. Fortunately, orthodontic treatment can help to correct an overbite and improve your oral health. If you’re concerned about your overbite, talk to our orthodontist here at Bluebird Orthodontics about treatment options.
If you have a mild overbite, braces or aligners can be used to gradually move your teeth into proper alignment. However, if you have a severe overbite, orthodontics may not be able to completely correct it. In severe cases, surgery may be required to realign the jaws.
Overall, orthodontics can be an effective treatment for an overbite, but the best way to treat your overbite will depend on the severity of your condition.
Orthodontic Treatment For Underbite
An underbite is a common orthodontic condition in which the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. This can cause the teeth to overlap, making it difficult to bite and chew properly. Underbites can also lead to speech issues and damage to the teeth.
There are several different types of underbites, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, injury, or misalignment of the jaws. Treatment for an underbite typically involves orthodontic braces or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.
There are a few different ways that orthodontics can be used to correct an underbite, and the best option will depend on the severity of the problem. In some cases, orthodontic treatment can be used to simply move the teeth into a better position.
In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the alignment of the jaw. However, orthodontists commonly help patients to improve the appearance of an underbite and make it easier to eat and speak.
Orthodontic Treatment For Crossbite
If you have a crossbite, it means that your teeth don’t line up the way they’re supposed to. Your upper teeth should sit slightly in front of your lower teeth, but with a crossbite, your upper teeth sit behind your lower teeth. This can happen on just one side of your mouth or on both sides.
Crossbites can happen in the front or back of your mouth and can even involve your jaw. If you have a crossbite, you might not even realize it because it’s often something that develops slowly. However, there are some signs you can look for, such as difficulty chewing or biting down properly, mouth pain, jaw pain, teeth that are worn down or chipped, and gaps between your teeth.
Orthodontic treatment for a crossbite can help to improve the function and appearance of your teeth. Orthodontists can help to correct these issues. In some cases, braces may be used to gradually move the teeth into their proper position. In other cases, orthodontic appliances may be used to expand the upper jaw and align the teeth. Orthodontic treatment can take several months or even years to complete, but the results are well worth it. A healthy, beautiful smile is something that you will be able to enjoy for a lifetime.
Orthodontic Treatment for Open Bite
Orthodontists use braces, retainers, and other appliances to align teeth and jaws in order to improve someone’s bite and smile, including those with an open bite. While orthodontics can be used to treat a wide range of dental issues, one of the most common problems that orthodontists see is an open bite.
An open bite occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not touch when the mouth is closed. This can be caused by a number of different factors, including thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, or clenching/grinding the teeth.
In some cases, an open bite may also be due to genetics. Orthodontic treatment is usually very successful in correcting an open bite. Our orthodontist will create a custom treatment plan based on the individual’s needs. This may involve wearing braces or other appliances for several months to a couple of years. Our orthodontist will work closely with you so you can achieve a straighter, healthier smile.
If you’re concerned about facial asymmetry, don’t despair! Orthodontic treatment can go a long way in correcting the problem and giving you a more symmetrical smile. If you’re interested in learning more about how orthodontics can help you achieve facial harmony, schedule your free consultation with our board-certified orthodontist at Bluebird Orthodontics!