When people think about their teeth, it’s easy to focus on the teeth alone without really considering the connection of the mouth to the rest of the body. Dentists and orthodontists have been trained to recognize that certain oral and dental problems are commonly associated with specific medical diagnoses.
Cleft lips and palates are conditions that occur in utero when the growth of the upper jaw is interrupted in some way and the jaw bones don’t fuse together properly. This is just one example of many such “interruptions” that cause problems with the facial and jaw bones. The orthodontic problems we may see with cleft lips and palates include, but are not limited to, an underdeveloped upper jaw or missing teeth in the cleft site where the growth problem occurred. An orthodontist is a key player on the team that follows these patients to provide sequential coordinated care with other specialists to address and correct tooth- and jaw-related problems. Dr. Renick will phase treatment to produce the best results. An early phase with an appliance brings the bones close together to facilitate lip closure in an infant. Later treatment, which may include an expander, will aid jaw growth and bone grafting for tooth eruption or replacement. In many cases, the issue may be resolved to the point where signs no longer exist it occurred in the first place!
There are other syndromes affecting the mouth and jaw where orthodontic treatment may be required. Many syndromes are associated with underdeveloped or missing teeth. In these cases, there are usually multiple missing teeth and more severe cases may have a complete lack of teeth. On the other hand, some syndromes will include multiple extra teeth! An orthodontist usually manages the space available so that a general dentist can create a restorative plan to replace the multiple missing teeth. In cases of primary failure of eruption, the teeth may be present but unable to fully erupt into the mouth and become “stuck” to the bone.
If you would like more information about special cases requiring orthodontic treatment in Sunbury Westerville and Galena, Ohio, call Renick Orthodontics at 740-936-5003 today.