Dental Malocclusion – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Dental Malocclusion – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Also, Dental Malocclusion is a term used to refer to the alignment of teeth . Ideally, the teeth should fit easily inside the mouth , without crowding or spacing. Also, none of the teeth should be turned or crooked. The maxillary (upper) teeth should slightly overlap the mandibular (lower) teeth , so that the tips of the molars fit into the grooves of the opposite molar.

Dental malocclusion

Deviations from ideal occlusion are known as malocclusion. If the teeth  are misaligned, they cannot perform vital functions and can cause health problems. Alignment of the upper teeth is necessary to prevent the lips and cheeks from being bitten, while alignment of the lower teeth is necessary to protect the tongue.

Dental Malocclusion is also known as crowded teeth, misaligned teeth , crossbite, deep bite, undershot and open bite.

Causes of Dental Malocclusion: Dental malocclusion is usually hereditary, meaning it passes from one generation to the next. Statistics indicate that only 30% to 40% of the population haveperfectly aligned teeth .

Although many cases of  dental malocclusion are inherited, there are some conditions or habits that can change the shape and structure of the jaw. They include:

  • Cleft lip and palate (cleft lip)
  • Pacifier use after three years
  • Prolonged use of bottle
  • Early childhood thumb sucking
  • Injuries resulting in jaw misalignment
  • Tumors in the mouth or jaws
  • abnormally shaped or impacted teeth
  • Poorly performed dental treatment, resulting in ill-fitting fillings, crowns, or orthodontic appliances

Symptoms of Dental Malocclusion: Depending on the classification of Dental Malocclusion , the symptoms can be subtle or severe. Typical symptoms of dental malocclusion are:

  • Incorrect alignment of teeth
  • Change in the appearance of the face
  • Discomfort when chewing or biting
  • Speech problems, including the development of a lisp
  • Breathing through  the mouth instead of the nose

Diagnoses of Dental Malocclusion: Dental malocclusion is usually diagnosed through routine dental exams. The dentist examines the teeth and may take an x-ray to determine if the teeth are correctly aligned. If malocclusion is detected, it will be classified by type and severity. There are three different classes of malocclusion:

Class 1: Class 1 Dental Malocclusion is diagnosed when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth . In this type of malocclusion, the bite is normal and the overlap is small. Class 1 is the most common type of malocclusion.

Class 2: Class 2 Dental Malocclusion is diagnosed when there is a severe overbite. This condition, known as retrognathism, means that the maxilla and upper teeth significantly extend beyond the mandible and lower teeth .

Class 3: Class 3 Dental Malocclusion is diagnosed when there is severe prognathism. This condition means that the mandible protrudes forward, which causes the lower teeth to advance in relation to the upper jaw and teeth .

Dental Malocclusion Treatments: Most people with mild dental malocclusion will not require any treatment. However, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist if your dental malocclusion is severe. Depending on your type of dental malocclusion , your orthodontist may recommend several treatments. These may include:

  • Devices to correct the position of teeth
  • Teeth removal to correct overcrowding
  • Reshaping, bonding or encapsulating teeth
  • Surgery to reshape or shorten the jaw
  • Wires or plates to stabilize the jaw bone

Treatment for the condition can also result in some complications. These include:

  • Dental cavity
  • pain or discomfort
  • Mouth irritation from using appliances such as braces
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking during treatment
Dental malocclusion

Preventing Dental Malocclusion: Preventing dental malocclusion can be difficult because most cases of dental malocclusion are hereditary. Parents of young children should limit pacifier and bottle use to help reduce changes in jaw development. Early detection of malocclusion can help decrease the length (and severity) of treatment needed to correct the problem.

Long-Term Perspective of Dental Malocclusion: Treatment of dental malocclusion in children and adults usually results in correction of the problem. Early childhood treatment will shorten the duration of treatment and also make it less expensive.

Adults can also get good results. However, treatment for adults usually takes longer and will be more expensive. The sooner you treat malocclusion, the better the result.

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