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Overbites: Can an Overbite Cause Your Teeth to Fall Out?

An overbite is the term used to describe the extension of the upper mouth beyond the limits of the lower mouth. An overbite is skeletal when the over-extension happens in your jaw; this means that your upper and lower jaws come in sizes or shapes that don't match, and that your upper jaw ends up protruding. Overbites can also be strictly dental in nature, which means your teeth in the upper half of your mouth protrude beyond those in the lower half of your mouth. Overbites happen for a variety of reasons including genetics, dentistry errors in the patient's childhood, or early tooth loss.

Many people decide to correct their overbites depending on the degree of the over-extension. The misalignment can be corrected with braces. Here are some of the reasons why people opt to fix their overbites through realigning braces.

Health and Hygiene Reasons

Misalignment makes it harder to maintain healthy teeth. Food is more likely to become lodged in teeth when they fit together abnormally, so contaminants are more likely to stay inside a mouth with an overbite. Misalignment also makes teeth harder to access for cleaning. As a result, food and ultimately bacteria build up between the teeth, causing weaknesses in the gums and bones. Diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis become more likely for people with overbites. Although it is unlikely, severe diseases in the mouth can weaken the gums and bones over several years to such an extent that teeth begin to fall out of the mouth. Furthermore, the bacteria can spread out of the mouth and into the bloodstream, causing more serious health complications.

Wear and Tear Is More Likely

When teeth sit at odd angles, they can rub against each other with harmful results. People with overbites are more likely to clench or grind their teeth, which slowly wears them down. They are also more likely to accidentally chip or fracture teeth in ways that lead to painful and expensive dental work. Braces make teeth line up evenly, and reduce the risk of grinding and breaking.

Body Image and Self-Esteem

Sometimes, the motivation to get braces has to do with people's self-consciousness. A negative body image can be psychologically debilitating and getting one’s teeth straightened often makes people like the look of their own smile. Other times, overbites result in a heavy, labored breath commonly known as "mouth breathing." In rare cases, overbites can also cause speech impediments. Correcting the misalignment can make these people feel far more confident.

While many people opt for braces for aesthetic reasons, the classic Hollywood smile is not the only thing to be gained from this corrective dental treatment. Braces will straighten your teeth and correct an overbite, which can keep your teeth clean and make them harder to damage. Having straight teeth can prevent the king of poor hygiene or the kind of accidents that can break teeth or cause them to fall out of your mouth.

Odd One Out: Do You Need Braces If You Have Just One Crooked Tooth?

Some people have an almost-flawless smile. Maybe they were born with perfectly straight teeth and then, as their teeth set with age, a single misalignment occurred causing one tooth overlap with another. Sometimes, years of biting can cause teeth to shift forward and backward in the mouth. Other people weren’t born with a naturally great smile and went through years of painful and expensive orthodontic treatment to earn their perfect smile. However, they were careless with their retainer and didn’t wear it as often as they should have, and as a result, one tooth goes astray. Is it worth investing in braces to fix a single crooked tooth? Before deciding whether or not you should correct the odd one out with braces, it's important for you to gain an understanding of what braces can do and what kind of commitment they require.

What Do Orthodontists Do?

Braces aren't all about having an aesthetically-pleasing smile. Orthodontists are first trained as regular dentists, then they are trained to be experts of the jaw and of tooth movement and alignment. When you go in for a consultation, the orthodontist sees more than crookedness or straightness. He or she also observes how your teeth line up when they close, and how your teeth sit in relation to your tongue. Orthodontists look at the spaces between your teeth to see if they are too crowded or too spread apart. They check for general tooth and gum health, but also for pain or discomfort you may feel in your jaw or as headaches. They can even see if your tooth alignment is causing problems to the way you speak and the way you breathe.

While braces will give you a great smile, they can bring with them health benefits; they may or may not be worth the cost and hassle for a single stray tooth. Imperfections, especially small ones, don't necessarily impede your "bite,” or the way your teeth align. They don't even necessarily cause your smile to appear crooked, especially if the misaligned tooth is in the lower half of your mouth that is usually covered by the lower lip.

Braces can be expensive and inconvenient. They typically cost between $3,000 and $6,000, usually paid as an initial deposit followed by monthly installments. Having braces means making periodical trips to the orthodontist over several years, and it means experiencing some pain as the teeth shift in the mouth. Some people, especially adults, don't like the aesthetic consequences of having a semi-permanent dental fixture.

People who want to fix a single tooth without investing in braces sometimes opt for a special type of retainer. The retainer has a spring that is designed to exert more pressure on the crooked tooth. It is far less expensive than braces, costing a few hundred rather than a few thousand dollars. However, it is not always as effective, and so some orthodontists are hesitant to suggest it as an alternative to braces.

Ultimately, your need for braces depends on a variety of factors, including general dental alignment, aesthetic preferences, and your lifestyle. If you're considering braces as an option, have a consultation with two or more orthodontists and get their opinions. Getting a variety of opinions can help you make an informed and confident decision.

My Permanent Crowns Feel Uneven – What Should I Do?

Permanent crowns have a number of functions in dentistry. They are commonly used for providing a protective covering for a filling. They can also be used to protect or restore weak teeth, hold dental bridges and implants in place, and even be used as a cosmetic modification to cover misshapen or discolored teeth. Ideally, your permanent crown should feel just like a normal tooth, but sometimes a new crown can feel uneven or uncomfortable. If that is the case, below are some tips advising you on what you do.

Ask Yourself How Long You’ve Had the Crown

The first question to ask yourself is how long you've had the crown for. Most permanent crowns will require some sort of adjustment period. If your crowns feel uneven for the first couple of days after your surgery, you might be adjusting to the feel of the new addition to your mouth.

Contact Your Dentist

If you have had the crown for more than a few days and feel that you have moved past the usual adjustment period, then you may need to contact your dentist. Once you've made a follow-up appointment, your dentist should be able to take care of the problem quickly and easily.

What Causes Uneven Crowns?

The main reason that crowns can be uneven is that a patient's mouth is usually numbed during dental surgery. The numbing means that you may not be able to close your mouth normally or feel if the crown fits properly or not. A good dentist will do their best to make sure that your crown is filed down properly to match the shape of your tooth, but without the ultimate test - your own sense of feeling - it's hard to be absolutely sure that your crowns are set the way they need to be.

How To Fix the Problem

Fortunately, an uneven crown is extremely simple to fix. All your dentist needs to do is to re-check your bite, and grind down the uneven part of the filling. This should only take a couple of minutes, and it should be totally painless as well.

What If My Crowns Are Causing Me Pain?

The reason that permanent crowns will cause pain is because they are uneven. An uneven crown will cause the thin layer of tissue under the tooth known as the periodontal ligament to become inflamed. This is because there is increased pressure on the high part of your crown from your teeth when you bite down. Normally, the pressure in your mouth is distributed evenly when you bite. However, when one part becomes higher than the rest, that area will experience more pressure.

Discomfort or pain caused by permanent crowns should not be anything to worry about. Sometimes your mouth is just adjusting to the change. Even if you are having long-term issues, you don't have to worry about lining up another long-term surgery for yourself. Fixing an uneven crown could be the simplest thing your dentist does all day, and it should feel just as simple for you as well.

Swollen Up: How Long Does Swelling Last After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Wisdom tooth extraction is usually dreaded as it can be accompanied by bleeding, pain, and swelling. Dentists extract wisdom teeth by making an incision into the gum, removing bone that covers the tooth, and disconnecting the tissue that keeps the tooth in your mouth.

How invasive the surgery is depends on how deeply embedded the tooth is. Sometimes, dentists have to cut the wisdom tooth into smaller parts to dislodge it. More invasive procedures often require stitches that either dissolve on their own, or that will need to be removed after a few days. Recovery time varies, but side effects usually only last a few days. Painkillers are usually prescribed to make those days more manageable, and anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed to manage swelling. There are several things you can do to ease the swelling in just a few days, and below are a few of those options.

Keep Your Mouth Treated and Clean

Initially, place gauze in your mouth and bite down slightly to absorb the blood. Bleeding should only last 24 hours; if it continues, call your surgeon. If the swelling is particularly bad for the first day, place an ice pack on the outside of your jaw and cheeks. In the next days, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater periodically (usually 4 to 5 times per day is recommended) to decrease pain and alleviate swelling. For this, just add 1 teaspoon of salt to a regular glass of warm water.

While it will be tempting to touch the sore areas, keep your fingers and tongue away from the healing wounds. Your hands especially carry germs, and you risk infecting yourself and prolonging the recovery time. Avoid smoking, as cigarettes can also introduce harmful bacteria that will delay recovery and keep the swelling high. However, continue to brush your teeth carefully to maintain regular dental hygiene.

Eat Carefully and Choose Your Food Carefully

Stick to soft foods like pudding, smooth soup, ice cream, and mashed fruits. Add solids back into your diet gradually, staying away from hard or crunchy foods for several days, or even a week if necessary. It is possible that the change in diet will cause you to lose a few pounds, but this is normal. Even if you're eating food that has the texture of a milkshake, avoid using a straw. Sucking can disrupt the clotting and lead to painful problems.

Rest After Surgery and Look After Yourself

Prepare to relax for a few days after your surgery. Try to take some time off work and, in that time, stay in bed. Instead of lying flat, prop your reclined head up on pillows. This could make the bleeding stop sooner as the wounded area is elevated. Avoid any kind of physical exertion; as your heart rate increases, your blood moves faster and you risk increasing the bleeding. Staying still for just a few days will aid your recovery.

Wisdom tooth extraction is never much fun. Prepare to slow down for a few days after the surgery and to experience bleeding and swelling. Follow the tips above to make your healing process smooth and quick. If the pain and swelling persists for several days, give your surgeon a call.

Retainers: Is it Normal for Retainers to Change Their Shape?

If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, it is likely that your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist. Depending on how crooked your teeth are, your dentist will either recommended braces or a retainer. Braces are glued onto the teeth and are permanent until the orthodontist decides the treatment is complete. On the other hand, a retainer is removable. However, because a retainer can be removed, you need to be extra careful to ensure it keeps its shape. Read on for more information on how a retainer might change its shape.

Be Careful When Washing Your Retainer

Especially if your orthodontist has given you a plastic retainer, you need to be careful with washing. You should wash your retainer in cold water only. Washing your retainer in hot or boiling water will cause it to change shape. Like a mouth-guard, the hot water will make the plastic malleable; when the plastic changes shape it will cause your teeth to move out of place. This also means keeping your retainer out of the dishwasher.

It's not just hot water that you should be wary of. Keep your retainer away from any device that gives off excessive amounts of heat. For example, don't leave your retainer by a heater, furnace or open flame.

Check For Cracks in the Plastic

If you are prone to grinding your teeth, you should also keep a close eye on your retainer. Grinding your teeth while you wear your retainer can lead to cracks in the plastic. Cracks in the retainer will affect the retainer's ability to hold your teeth in place, so if you do see cracks, see your orthodontist so that you can get fitted with a new retainer as soon as possible.

You should also be careful with how you keep your retainer when you're not wearing it. If you are not wearing your retainer, be sure you keep it in its protective case. Leaving your retainer unprotected leaves it prone to knocks and bumps, which could result in cracks. In addition to this, leaving your retainer in your pocket unprotected will also increase the chance of cracks.

Listen To Your Orthodontist's Instructions

Listen to your orthodontist's instructions when you first get your retainer. For example, never use harsh chemicals like bleach on your retainer. You should also avoid eating with the device in, and drinking carbonated drinks or sugary juices with your retainer in. Also, be sure to take the time to clean your retainer by brushing it with your toothbrush. If anything feels strange to you, see your orthodontist; never try to make changes to the device yourself. Following your orthodontist’s instructions will ensure that your retainer lasts longer.

Wearing a retainer will help you get straight teeth and a great smile. However, because a retainer can be removed, you need to be extra careful to make sure it keeps its shape. By following the above advice, as well as the advice of your orthodontist, you can make sure that your retainer keeps its shape so that your teeth stay straight. If your retainer feels strange or too tight, see your orthodontist so that he can make the necessary changes.

Three Great Reasons To Have Your Teeth Whitened By Professionals

These days, it seems like there are hundreds of ways to whiten your teeth. It's easy to walk into any pharmacy or grocery store and pick up a home whitening kit or one of the many varieties of whitening toothpastes out there. But before you get too carried away, here are some points about teeth whitening that you should consider.

Every Mouth is Different

There are a number of over-the-counter home whitening kits available, such as dental trays and whitening strips. One of the problems with these methods is that they are designed for the general consumer, and not specifically for your mouth. Everyone's teeth are unique, so one-size-fits-all solutions don't tend to work very well when it comes to teeth. Dental trays, for example, can cause gum irritation if they're not properly fitted to your mouth. Also, some bleaching products may contain a high level of peroxide, which can cause irritation if you have a sensitive mouth. If not used properly, some of these products can even lead to mouth ulcers and gum damage due to the bleaching agents they contain.

Home Bleaching Methods Can Wear Off Quickly

Tooth whitening strips can be easier to apply than dental trays, but the problem with these products is that the whitening effect tends to wear off after a couple of weeks. Since these strips are meant to be worn for extended periods of time (usually 30 minutes to an hour), they only contain a small amount of the bleaching agent that actually whitens your teeth. In order to maintain a whiter smile using this method, you would have to repeat the procedure every few months. This could also cause gum irritation, as you would be exposing your gums to potentially harmful chemicals on a regular basis. Plus, while these kits initially cost less than professional whitening, the cost would certainly add up over time!

Professional Whitening Works Better and Lasts Longer

The other way to whiten your teeth is to visit a professional. A dentist can consult with you to find a solution that's tailor-made for your mouth. This solution would account for factors like the shape of your teeth and the sensitivity of your gums that make your mouth different from anyone else's. There are several different options available, including laser whitening, internal bleaching, and custom dental trays. All of these methods are safer and more effective than over-the-counter treatments. And while professional teeth whitening may seem more expensive than home methods at first, you could end up saving in the long run, since the effects of professional teeth whitening can last for upwards of three years if you treat your mouth properly.

So before you march into the nearest pharmacy and grab the latest over-the-counter whitening solution, think about what your long-term goals are. Do you want a slightly whiter smile tomorrow, with the risk of potential side effects? Or do you want to avoid any potential dangers and have teeth that will be naturally white and shiny for years to come? If the long-term health and appearance of your teeth is a priority for you, then you should consider visiting a professional who can find the right solution for your unique mouth.

How Long Does It Take For Gingivitis To Go Away?

If your gums are inflamed and red, you might be suffering from gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition that, if left untreated, can cause you a lot of pain and make your teeth rot. This condition isn't always painful though, so it might be difficult to diagnose if you're not regularly going to the dentist for checkups. However, if you do recognize that you're suffering from gingivitis and you begin treatment, how long will it take for the bacteria to go away?

What Causes Gingivitis?

First of all, what causes gingivitis? Gingivitis is a type of gum inflammation that is caused by the bacteria that live along your gum line. There are lots of different species of bacteria in your mouth, and there isn't just one kind that leads to this condition. The umbrella term for the variety of bacteria and mucus in your mouth is plaque.

You are more at risk if you don't practice good oral hygiene. For example, if you don't brush or floss your teeth regularly, then you are more likely to suffer from gingivitis. That being said, certain individuals are simply more prone to gingivitis than others. Pregnant women, menopausal women, diabetics and individuals suffering from AIDS and leukemia are all more likely to suffer from inflamed gums.

What Are the Symptoms?

In order to begin treatment, you need to recognize the symptoms. Your gums will not necessarily be painful. First, your gums will be red and swollen, and will likely bleed when you brush. If left long enough, you may develop white or yellow sores in your mouth.

How Can You Treat It and How Long Will Treatment Take?

Once you recognize that you have gingivitis, how long will it take until it goes away? Generally, your gums will be back to normal in less than ten days. Of course, this will depend on the severity of the gingivitis and the reason that you got gingivitis in the first place. For example, if you are a diabetic and therefore at a higher risk of developing gingivitis, you will need to ensure that a doctor treats your diabetes properly, as well as the gingivitis itself. If you have a Vitamin C deficiency, a doctor will need to help you restore your Vitamin C levels to help treat your gingivitis and prevent reoccurring episodes.

There are several ways to treat your gingivitis. You can aid your recovery by brushing your teeth regularly, rinsing with warm water and salt, and gently massaging your gums. In addition, you might be prescribed medications to help with the healing process, so be sure to take these as your doctor tells you.

However, if your gingivitis has gotten serious enough, it will likely take longer than ten days for it to go away. Depending on the severity, you might require a deep cleaning or even surgery. Very serious cases of gingivitis require bone grafts.

The key to recovering quickly from gingivitis is catching it early. Knowing the symptoms, going to the dentist quickly, and following doctors' orders will all help you recover in a timely manner. The best treatment, however, is prevention. Maintaining good oral hygiene and taking care of your general health will help you avoid gingivitis in the first place.

Four Home Remedies for Swollen Gums

Swollen gums can be annoying, but they're nothing that some good, old-fashioned home remedies can't fix. This gum condition won't occur simply overnight. In fact, gingivitis is usually the reason for this problem. If gingivitis is neglected and not addressed in a timely fashion, then it can get worse over time and turn into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a lot more serious than gingivitis. There are various causes for this gum condition, yet the most common and obvious one is bad oral hygiene. Here are the four home remedies that you can use when you have swollen gums.

Warm Salt Water to the Rescue

Something as simple as warm salt water can start to make a huge difference when it comes to your gums. It may seem simple, but warm salt water can really help your gums provided that you use it regularly over an extended period of time. Just combine a pinch of salt with some warm water, and rinse out your mouth. This remedy works by improving the blood circulation in your gums and lessening the swelling. You should rinse two times a day for the best results.

Peroxide and Water Can Help Too

If you rely on a solution of peroxide and water, you'll notice your swollen gums improving quite efficiently. What peroxide and water do is prevent any bacteria from actually building up on the tooth's surface. Utilizing this mixture as little as just three times a week can make a big difference for your gum problems. The mixture ought to be 50 percent water and 50 percent hydrogen peroxide, which you should then swish around in your mouth for half a minute.

Massaging Your Gums Works

Nobody ever massages their gums anymore, which is too bad because, if you have this gum problem, massaging your gums will help. It's really simple to massage your gums correctly: position your index finger on the exterior of your gums while you press your thumb on the inside. You should then massage your gums, which will lessen swelling and improve blood circulation too.

It's Time to Brush Your Gums

While people do regularly brush their teeth, they sometimes forget to brush their gums! This can lead to problems, as brushing the gums provides serious health benefits. Brushing your gums will actually remove the plaque that's lying just underneath the gum line. Simply angle your toothbrush so that half of it lies on your gums while the other half touches your teeth. You must then move your brush around in a circular way, as that will also clean the surface of your teeth.

These are the four best home remedies for your swollen gums. Notice how simple and straightforward they are to incorporate into your daily routine. Not only are they inexpensive, they also take very little time to execute so there's really no reason that you can't try them all to help with your gum problem. Gums that are swollen and even bleeding can be irritating and painful. These tips will improve your quality of life and your gum issues.

Will Getting Braces Change the Shape of My Face?

Getting braces is not something that most people look forward to. There are always concerns about whether or not getting them will make people look unattractive. Some individuals also worry about whether braces will be uncomfortable or cause pain. Beyond that, a lot of people wonder if having these orthodontic devices in their mouths will change the shape of their face. Here's what you need to know on this topic.

Issues With an Overbite or Underbite

Wearing these orthodontic devices can be used to correct both overbites and underbites, along with a number of other problems such as crooked teeth, deep bites, open bites, cross bites and even malocclusions. In these instances, braces will be used along with palatal expanders and bands, as the situation dictates.

People wonder if the shape of their face will change while they’re wearing braces. Once the overbite or underbite has improved, there will be a slight adjustment to the shape of the face, especially the lower section of it. This change in appearance is going to be more prominent when you're smiling, and the amount of change is based on the severity of the bite problem in the first place.

Issues with Palatal Jaw Expanders

A palatal expander is a device used by dentists to expand a person's upper jaw. This is particularly useful in situations where a patient needs to have his upper jaw widened so that both the lower and upper teeth will fit together nicely. While palatal jaw expanders have been more commonly used on children or adolescents, they have also been used with success on adults, though to a lesser frequency. Of course, a person's face will change slightly because the palatal jaw expanders make the upper jaw a little bit wider. Much of the time though, the facial changes are very subtle and won’t be noticed.

Issues With the Lips

Having braces might slightly alter the shape of your lips. However, the specific changes will vary from person to person. For example, it is not uncommon to experience a bit of drooping with the upper lip. Other people may notice that it is their lower lip that ends up appearing a little bit bigger from the braces. Of course, having anything fit over your teeth will make your lips appear somewhat bigger due to the effect of the orthodontic devices pushing out from the teeth.

Getting these orthodontic devices might change the shape of your face. However, these changes are usually very minor; usually only the wearer of the braces will notice a change! If you look in the mirror regularly and keep tabs on the specific shape of your face, you are more likely to notice these facial changes. The facial changes usually depend on what type of dental correction is being done. Individuals who are given braces to correct an overbite or an underbite are more likely to notice subtle changes to the shape of their face.

Five Reasons That Your Jaw Clicks or Pops When You Chew

Some people have a jaw that clicks or pops when they chew. Sometimes, it can be challenging to pin down exactly where this problem stems from. Some people with this condition may first suspect that something's wrong with their mandible, but it isn't always that straightforward. It actually turns out that there is not just one, single reason for why your jaw could click or pop when you chew. Here are five reasons why your jaw could be clicking or popping when you chew.

It Could Be Joint Disk Issues

If you hear your jaw either clicking or popping when you are chewing, then it could be that your joint disk is unstable. The noise you hear stems from this disk popping in and out of place as it moves forward and then backward. Sometimes, the noise this can produce is quite low, but other times, it can be loud and you may be heard from clear across the lunch table.

It Could Be Your TMJ

TMJ is an acronym that stands for “temporomandibular joint.” If there's something wrong with your TMJ, then you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, or just TMJ syndrome. In turn, this jaw condition can be created by a lot of different issues, such as bad posture, stress problems, trauma, and unusually shaped jaw muscles or spastic jaw muscles. In any case, TMJ problems are serious and you should visit your dentist quickly.

It Could Be From Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Sometimes, if people are under a lot of stress, they begin to either grind or clench their teeth. Usually people who grind are unaware that they are doing it! If a dentist thinks that this is the cause of your clicking or popping problems, then he could provide you with something as simple as a mouth guard to help alleviate this condition.

It Could Be Jaw Joint Inflammation

It could also be that your jaw joint became inflamed, which is what causes the clicking and popping noises each time you chew. The disk in the jaw joint is comprised of cartilage, which is what allows the jaw to move effortlessly. However, as the mouth opens, this disk may sometimes get out of its proper position. Inflammation of this disk can be the reason for the disk sliding out of place in the first place.

It Could Be Childhood Issues

The final reason for your jaw making either clicking or popping noises when you eat is a childhood trauma. This is not a psychological trauma, but rather, a physical trauma from childhood that did not heal properly. For instance, if you were very rambunctious as a child, you may have fallen in such a way that hurt your jaw. While it failed to cause problems then, it may have caught up with you as an adult.

These are the five reasons your jaw can either click or pop when you chew. If you are experiencing pain in your jaw that fails to go away, it's best to see a dentist or a doctor for it. Delaying treatment will likely only make the situation worse.

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