Malocclusion of the teeth is one of the most common dental problems around the world. Dental professionals explain there are several other terms commonly associated with and used to refer to malocclusion:
- Open bite
- Cross bite
- Under bite
- Crowded teeth
The primary concern with a malocclusion is the reduced ability of the teeth to perform their vital functions.
The alignment of your teeth is called occlusion. In an ideal alignment of the teeth, there are no issues with crowding or spacing. The teeth fit within your mouth easily and naturally. There are no twisted or crooked teeth. Upper jaw teeth form a slight overlap on lower jaw teeth, which means your molars’ pointed ridges fit snugly into the grooves of their opposing molars.
Malocclusion is the presence of deviations from the things discussed above, and there is a variety of deviations. Often, when there is a malocclusion, there is concern about biting the inside of your cheeks, lips, and tongue. The upper teeth are supposed to protect your cheeks and lips, and the lower teeth are supposed to do the same for your tongue.
Common causes of malocclusion
A malocclusion may occur depending on a condition or a habit that affects the jaw’s structure. These may include:
- Pacifier use past 3 years old
- Bottle feeding (prolonged use)
- Thumb sucking
- Cleft lip and palate
- Improper fit of braces, crowns, or fillings, mostly due to poor dental hygiene
- Injuries affecting the jaw
- Tumors within the jaw or mouth
- Breathing through the mouth
If you live in Layton, Utah, visit the nearest orthodontist to learn about your condition and get the most appropriate treatment. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Surgery for shortening or reshaping the jaw
- Braces for correcting tooth position
- Extraction of the tooth or teeth that are causing the malocclusion
- Stabilizing plates or wires for the jaw bone
- Teeth bonding, reshaping, or capping
See your dental professional if you have dental problems or suspect you have a malocclusion. The sooner you receive the proper treatment, the faster you can correct the problem.