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Malocclusion Of Teeth: 8 Causes And Effective Treatments

Constituting more than 5% of dental cases per month, malocclusion of teeth has been a common dental problem that has affected young and old alike. 

We do know that our teeth play a significant role in our bodies. They help us chew and digest food, speak clearly, and give a definite shape to our faces.

Also, not to forget how our teeth help us to smile! Therefore, having the correct alignment of teeth is essential.

However, malocclusion of teeth is one such dental problem that often poses problems for its affected. This condition generally does not pose health risks, but it does cause different complications if left untreated. Also, it can worsen the situation further. 

Curious to know more? Continue reading the article then as we share the details of different stages of malocclusion of teeth, their symptoms, and the practical measures that can help you deal with the situation. 

A. What Do We Mean by Malocclusion of Teeth? 

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By Troyan on Shutterstock

According to medical terminology, occlusion refers to the alignment of our teeth.

Typically, our teeth should fit easily inside our mouth without any crowding or causing any spacing concerns. The upper jaw teeth should slightly overlap with the lower jaw teeth, and the pointed ridges of upper moles should fit into the grooves.

However, when there is a change in alignment, that is referred to as malocclusion. 

The changes generally vary from person to person. Malocclusion can therefore be classified into three different classes based upon severity and their type. 

  • Class 1 malocclusion is diagnosed when the upper molars overlap with the lower molars. The teeth are generally crowded or are too spaced out. 
  • Class 2 malocclusion is diagnosed when you have a severe overbite. In this condition, the upper front teeth and jaw overlap with the lower front teeth and jaw. This type of malocclusion of teeth generally occurs when the affected person has a smaller lower jaw than the normal. This condition is also known as retrognathism. 
  • Class 3 malocclusion of teeth is diagnosed when the affected person has a severe underbite crossbite. In this case, the lower teeth overlap with the upper teeth. This condition generally occurs when the lower jaw is more extensive than usual. This condition is also known as prognathism.

B. What Are the Potential Causes of Malocclusion of Teeth? 

  • Hereditary; it has been observed that misalignment of teeth can be passed down through the families. 
  • The difference in size between the tooth size and the jaw. 
  • Congenital disabilities like cleft lip and palate
  • Childhood habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
  • Using pacifiers beyond the age of 3 and prolonged use of bottles during growing years.
  • Having conditions like abnormally shaped teeth, extra teeth, lost teeth, or impacted teeth condition.
  • Tumors of mouth and jaw
  • Ill fillings, dental fillings, dental appliances, braces, retainers can also cause malocclusion of teeth. 

C. Symptoms of Malocclusion of Teeth

The symptoms of malocclusion vary according to the severity of the condition. However, some of the typical symptoms of malocclusion include

  1. Changes in the appearances of face
  2. Improper alignment of teeth
  3. Discomfort while chewing or biting and frequent biting of cheek and tongue
  4. Changes in speech, including the development of a lisp
  5. Changes in breathing pattern; breathing through the mouth instead of the nose
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By Alex Mit on Shutterstock

D. Treatments available for malocclusion of teeth

Malocclusion of teeth is a widespread occurrence. Most of the orthodontic treatments available are generally based on the severity of the deformity.

However, some standard practices that are generally recommended to the patients affected are

  1. Usage of removable or fixed appliances that can help correct the position of teeth and alignment of the jaws.
  2. To fix moderate or mild cases of malocclusion, the extraction of certain teeth can help solve the problem. This will help in providing the teeth with ample growing space.
  3. Braces can be used to correct the position of the teeth. Metal bands are placed around the affected teeth. Sometimes, special plastic, metal, or ceramic bonds are attached to the surface of the teeth to correct the alignment. Also, retainers should be used to stabilize teeth after using braces.
  4. Reshaping, capping, or bonding of teeth can help in rectifying the deformed teeth.
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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The measures mentioned above are generally used for correcting mild to moderate cases of deformity of teeth.

However, for those suffering from severe cases of malocclusion, surgeries are generally recommended to correct the alignment of the teeth.

The surgery will help in shortening or reshaping your jaw or teeth. However, it should be mentioned that proper care should be taken after the surgery. The surgery also itself should be done under proper guidance. 

The treatments, in general, result in certain complications. Tooth decay, pain, irritation and discomfort in the mouth, or difficulty in speaking or chewing are usually observed. Therefore, one should take effective measures during the aftercare. 

E. Prevention of Malocclusion of Teeth

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are specific measures that can help you prevent the condition:

  1. Parents should limit bottle feeding during the growing years of the child.
  2. Young children should be limited to pacifier use as overuse can reduce the chances of the development of the jaw. Also, children should be discouraged from sucking their thumbs.
  3. Early detection and treatment can help in preventing deformity of the teeth. Therefore, children, teens, and adults should visit a dentist once in two months at least. 
  4. Usual oral health and dental hygiene should be maintained. It is essential to brush and floss teeth every day. 

Now there you go, everything you need to know about the malocclusion of teeth.

Malocclusion of teeth is a widespread occurrence, especially among adolescents and older people. However, the recovery rate is high too.

For people suffering from mild to moderate deformity cases, treatments like the usage of braces or removing specific teeth can quickly alleviate the condition.

The problem, however, arises for people suffering from the Class 3 stage of malocclusion. In this condition, surgery is generally the cure. But like we mentioned before, the surgery should be performed under a competent professional. Proper care should be taken of the patient after the process too. 

Hopefully, this article was able to shed some light on the ailment.

In conclusion, we can mention that the malocclusion of teeth might be a complex situation. Still, with early detection and proper treatments and medications, the condition can be easily alleviated too. 

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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