What are “Deep Bite and Open Bite”?
Naturally, when jaws are resting, the upper anterior teeth will be positioned a little bit ahead compared to the lower anterior teeth. Vertically speaking, they will cover the lower anterior teeth about one to two millimeters. If this coverage is more than mentioned, it is called deep bite and if it is less, it’s called open bite.
What is “Posterior Cross Bite”?
Naturally, when jaws are resting, the upper posterior teeth will be positioned a little bit ahead compared to the lower posterior teeth. In other words, upper posterior teeth have to be closer to the cheeks, and lower posterior teeth have to be closer to the tongue.
If this is not the case on one or both sides, it is called posterior cross bite.
What is “Anterior Cross Bite”
Naturally, when jaws are resting, the upper anterior teeth will be positioned a little bit ahead compared to the lower anterior teeth. Vertically speaking, they will cover the lower anterior teeth by about one or two millimeters.
If one or more upper anterior teeth are positioned behind the lower anterior teeth, it is called an anterior cross bite. Anterior cross bite is a condition that must be treated regardless of age.
Crowded and crooked teeth
One of the main reasons patients visit orthodontists, is messed up teeth. Causes include: deficient upper jaw, improper jaw growth angle, genetics, and oversized teeth.
Gaps Between Teeth
This is one of the main concerns that patients have. Some patients lack one or more permanent teeth. Also, a deficient upper jaw and continuing lower jaw growth in adults can cause a gap between upper anterior teeth.
Jaw Joint Problems
This is one the most complicated topics in orthodontics. Don’t forget that the lower jaw position in the joint depends on the way teeth are positioned on each other and the jaw arch shape depends on the joint position!
Breathing and sleeping disorders, chronic fatigue
Most of our upper respiratory tract is positioned right behind our jaws. Now if your lower jaw is held back because of lack of growth in upper jaw, this tract is tightened and causes heavy snoring, low quality sleep, fatigue, and high blood pressure.
Improper Jaw Growth
Along with growth in other body parts, the upper jaw will grow forward and a bit downwards.
Unfortunately, nowadays people’s lifestyle, which includes a soft diet and mouth breathing, along with other reasons, causes insufficient growth or growth in an improper direction. This insufficient growth is seen in people with flat cheeks.
Growth in an improper direction causes a gummy smile.
What are the effects of “Improper Jaw Growth”
Gummy smile: While smiling, about two millimeters of gum is visible. As mentioned, the reason is that the upper jaw has grown downward and the upper lip is too short. In mild cases, gum surgery or restorative treatments are sufficient. For more severe cases, orthodontics treatments are necessary, and for even worse cases, jaw surgery may be needed. The important point is that if the problem is diagnosed early, it can be prevented.
Open mouth: when resting, lips have a little space between them and when the patient tries to close them, he/she would feel a contraction in his/her chin. If diagnosed early, this condition is preventable.
Big nose: improper jaw growth doesn’t cause a big nose, but small cheeks and a held back upper lip causes the nose to seem bigger. After an orthodontics treatment, these patients feel that their nose has gotten smaller.
Headaches or a locking jaw (temporomandibular disorder): unlike the upper jaw, the lower jaw follows genetic growth. This means that if the upper jaw can’t reach its size, the lower jaw has to be bigger. If this difference is more than what it should be, the lower jaw exceeds its size and the lower anterior teeth will be ahead of the upper anterior teeth. But if this difference is less, the upper jaw locks the lower jaw in itself. In other terms, the lower jaw, which is bigger, is held back by the muscles so that patient can’t close his/her mouth in a normal way. This causes many joint problems and headaches.
Gap between upper anterior teeth: your upper anterior teeth start getting slightly distant from each other. Gum disease can be one of the main causes, but if there is no periodontal disease, then the reason is a small upper jaw that can’t withstand a bigger lower jaw. Don’t forget that the lower jaw in women grows until age 15, and in men until age 23.
Crooked teeth: obviously, when the jaw hasn’t reached its size, teeth will not have enough space to grow and this causes the teeth to look messy or can stop a tooth from growing because of lack of space.
Snoring and hypertension (high blood pressure): Most of our upper respiratory tract is positioned right behind our jaws. Now, if your lower jaw is held back because of lack of growth the in upper jaw, this tract is tightened and causes heavy snoring, low quality sleep, fatigue, and high blood pressure.
Is a small upper jaw treatable?
Until recently, the only method for treating a small upper jaw in adults was surgery, bur Dr. Steve Galella invented a method that had a huge impact on orthodontics, and now we are able to guide the upper jaw to its natural growth without any age limit.