Teeth Malocclusion: Should You Worry about It?
Teeth malocclusion is a misalignment issue that could lead to severe complications in your oral health. Other names foe malocclusion are:
- Open bite
- Crowded teeth
Ideally, a person’s teeth should be able t fit nicely in their mouth without spacing or crowding issues. Also, they shouldn’t be twisted or rotated. The upper jaw ought to overlap the lower jaw slightly. This way, your molars’ pointed ridges are able to fit into the opposite molars’ groves.
Any deviation from ideal occlusion is what we refer to as malocclusion. Although these deviations vary, each one of them brings about issues. Your upper teeth need to be aligned to avoid cases of you biting your lips and cheeks. Lower teeth alignment is necessary for protecting your tongue from the same fate.
Misaligned teeth are weaker and unable to function as expected. This brief explores the causes of misaligned teeth and how you can treat this problem for the well-being of your digestive and oral health.
Usually, malocclusion is a genetic condition, meaning your parents can pass it down to you. However, there are other conditions that could change your jaw structure and shape. They include:
- Prolonged use of the pacifier
- Jaw or mouth tumors
- Injuries of the jaw
- Prolonged bottle feeding and thumb sucking
- Impacted or abnormally shaped teeth
- Airway obstruction
- Poor oral hygiene
The symptoms may be either mild or severe depending on the type of malocclusion. The most common symptoms however include:
- Teeth misalignment
- Changes in facial appearance
- Biting of the tongue and inner cheeks
- Difficulties in chewing and biting
- Speech difficulties
- Mouth breathing
Malocclusion Diagnosis and Classification
Routine dental examinations should be taken seriously as it is during these visits that teeth malocclusion is diagnosed. Your dentist at Willow Park Dental
examines your teeth and proceeds to perform an x-ray to detect any teeth misalignment. Once detected, malocclusion is classified. There exist three categories of malocclusion:
- Class 1: This type is characterized by the upper teeth slightly overlapping your lower teeth. With this misalignment, the bite is quite normal.
- Class 2: If you have a serious overbite, your doctor will diagnose you with class 2 malocclusion. An overbite is a situation where your upper jaw overlaps the lower one by a wide range.
- Class 3: People with a severe underbite are diagnosed with class 3 malocclusion. His condition is referred to as prognathism and is characterized with a protruding lower jaw.
Although mild malocclusion may not be a cause for alarm, severe misalignment may require neuromuscular dentistry near you. The orthodontist will recommend treatment depending on your misalignment issue. They may include:
- Braces to reposition your teeth
- Tooth extraction to remove excess teeth
- Reshaping, capping or bonding of teeth
- Jaw surgery to shorten or reshape it
- Stabilization of the jaw bone using plates or wires
You should however note that the following complications could result from malocclusion treatment:
- Discomfort or pain
- Tooth decay
- Irritation in the mouth
- Difficulties in chewing and speech
Seeing that most malocclusion cases are hereditary, preventing this disorder is difficult. However, there are a few things you could do to prevent these misalignment issues:
- Parents should limit use of the feeding bottle and pacifier in their kids as it leads to changes in jaw development.
- Parents should ensure their kids do not prolong thumb sucking
- Have a mouth guard on when engaging in sport
- Practice good oral hygiene from an early age
- Regularly visit the dentist for examinations and cleanings
- Visit an orthodontist if you experience premature tooth loss. This way, your remaining teeth can be protected.
Can Misaligned Teeth Cause Headaches?
Because severe malocclusion causes stress and pain in your jaw and teeth, it could lead to headaches. The headaches are particularly intense if the cause of your malocclusion is bruxism. An uneven bite too exerts pressure onto your temporomandibular joint, leading to chronic headaches. This is the reason why jaw alignment and straightening of the teeth are closely connected. When detected early, malocclusion could take a shorter treatment time.
Where to Start
If you suffer from teeth malocclusion, do not wait for your condition to worsen before seeing an expert. Looking for neuromuscular services in Calgary, AB? Willow Park Dental is your to-go dental clinic.