Invisalign is now well-known as the most comfortable, fast, and almost invisible way to correct moderately crowded teeth, without even requiring dietary restrictions. But there are many other serious forms of misalignment of the bite that Invisalign may help correct, that otherwise result in pain, difficulty chewing and speaking clearly, damage to teeth, and periodontal disease (which allows harmful oral bacteria to spread through the body, raising the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer). Some of these conditions have a genetic primary cause, but can be made worse by bad habits.

Overbite

If you close your mouth and the front teeth of the upper arch jut out over the lower by 2-4 mm, this is normal, enabling the teeth to tear food while chewing, like an apple or pizza. More than that is an overbite that requires correction because not only will you have chewing and digestive problems, but the enamel surfaces of the teeth will be worn down. An overbite can even cause the serious disorder sleep apnea, since it makes it difficult for the jaw to relax and it may pinch the airway. An overjet is when an overbite has been exacerbated by  long-time thumb-sucking or excessive use of a pacifier, resulting in “buck teeth.” Invisalign can be applied to gradually move the teeth to their proper position.

Underbite

This occurs when the lower teeth are positioned slightly in front of the upper teeth, causing wear and tear and speech problems. If the underbite is severe, Invisalign can be combined with braces to bring the teeth into their optimal positions.

Open Bite

This is when the upper and lower arches do not touch each other properly, whether at the back or front. This is usually a development at an early age from excessive use of a bottle or pacifier, or due to thumb-sucking. Common symptoms include difficulty biting, chewing, or swallowing food, as well as speech impediments. It can even cause snoring or TMJ Disorder (dislocation of the temporomandibular joints where the upper and lower jaw are connected). An open bite is best treated as early as seven years, when the permanent teeth are coming in and the jaw is malleable. Invisalign trays can be customized as the results of treatment evolve.

Crossbite

This occurs when the upper teeth rest alongside the inside of the teeth vs. the normal outside. Crossbites can cause damage to teeth and the gums to recede away from the teeth, resulting in periodontal disease. 

If you believe you have a bite misalignment of any kind that might benefit from Invisalign, call Pacific Dental Care today and make an appointment to have Dr. Marine give you a full dental exam.