3 Unusual Signs That Might Indicate You Need To See An Orthodontist

Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in musculoskeletal dental problems. Hence, orthodontists treat dental misalignments and issues affecting jaw alignment and structure. 

Common signs you should see an orthodontist include:

  • Overbites
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overjets 
  • Underbites 

Nonetheless, orthodontists treat a variety of less common dental issues than the ones listed above. Thus, here are three unusual signs that warrant visiting an orthodontist. 

The Cause of Your Sleep Apnea Relates to an Orthodontic Condition

Sleep apnea is a respiratory condition where a person's breathing temporarily stops while they sleep. In most cases, the condition occurs due to the contraction of throat muscles or the tongue slipping back into the throat. However, sleep apnea can sometimes occur due to an orthodontic issue. 

For instance, if you have a narrow lower jaw, your tongue might not have enough room to rest in its proper position while you sleep. As a result, your tongue tends to slide back towards your throat, blocking the airway as you sleep. In such a scenario, the doctor diagnosing your sleep apnea may direct you to see an orthodontist. 

But you should note that orthodontists do not specialize in treating sleep apnea. Instead, an orthodontist can work with your doctor to find a suitable solution to your sleep apnea. For example, your doctor and orthodontist may be able to design and calibrate a sleep apnea oral appliance for you. 

You Have Challenges with Speech Articulation 

Being able to articulate words properly is something most people take for granted. But, if you struggle to articulate speech due to stammering or slurring, it can be frustrating. 

The reason you stammer or slur words may have nothing to do with your larynx or tongue. Instead, the root cause usually lies in your teeth and jaw bone alignment. For instance, if your teeth and jaw bones are severely misaligned, they might restrict the movement of your tongue when talking. 

Unrestricted tongue movement is essential for articulate speech, so restrictions to your tongue's movement may be the reason you slur or stammer. 

Hence, an orthodontist can help ease the restrictions to your tongue movement by aligning your jaw bones or teeth.

You Experience Prolonged Dental Sourness or Pain 

One of the reasons why dentists urge people to avoid chewing hard foods is because they can cause your teeth to shift in place. Thus, it is not uncommon to experience soreness or pain after chewing hard foods. But, in most cases, the soreness or pain is only temporary because your teeth usually adjust back to their original position after some time. 

However, if chewing on hard foods causes a major shift in your teeth alignment, you will experience prolonged pain or soreness. The prolonged pain or soreness is due to the shifting of teeth applying pressure on your nerves. Also, when nerves incur stress or pressure, they trigger pain or soreness. 

If you experience prolonged dental pain or soreness, you should visit an orthodontist. If the cause of your pain and soreness is shifting teeth, an orthodontist can fix the misalignment to ease the pain and soreness for good.