Malocclusion means improper positioning of the teeth that can lead to oral health complications. It is also known as:
Misaligned teeth may lead to difficulties in performing vital functions such as chewing, speaking, and biting. The term occlusion refers to your teeth’s alignment. Your teeth should fit within your mouth without being rotated, twisted, or having crowding or spacing issues. The upper jaw teeth should land slightly over the lower jaw teeth so that each molar will fit correctly in the grooves of its opposite molar.
Deviations from ideal occlusion are referred to as malocclusion. All types of misalignment can impact your dental health. Your upper and lower jaw teeth should be aligned properly to prevent cheeks, lips, and tongue from being bitten.
Malocclusion is an inherited condition. However, some habits or situations may change teeth’s alignment, including:
The symptoms may vary depending on the type of malocclusion. However, common symptoms include:
Malocclusions are usually diagnosed in regular dental exams. Your dentist will examine your teeth and take X-rays to determine whether your teeth are properly aligned. Generally, malocclusion is classified by its type and severity. These include:
It is the common type of malocclusion that occurs when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. You will experience normal bite and slight overlap in class 1 malocclusion.Class 2
Class 2 malocclusion, also known as retrognathism, occurs when the upper teeth and jaw significantly overlap the lower teeth and jaw, causing a severe overbite problem.Class 3
Class 3 malocclusion is also termed as prognathism. It occurs when the lower jaw protrudes forward and results in the lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth and jaw. It causes a severe underbite issue.
Mild malocclusion does not require any treatment. However, if you suffer from severe malocclusion, your dentist can refer you to an orthodontist. Your orthodontist may recommend various treatments depending on the type of malocclusion, including:
Treatment may cause a few complications, including:
Preventing hereditary malocclusion is difficult. Parents of young kids should limit bottle-feeding and pacifier use to help reduce changes in jaw development. Early diagnosis may lessen the severity and length of the treatment needed to correct the problem. Therefore, take your child to the dentist during childhood to determine whether their teeth are correctly aligned. Adults can also get treated for their malocclusion with good results, but the process might be lengthier and more expensive in such cases.
Whether inherited or self-induced, you should be aware of malocclusion and its treatment options. To learn more about malocclusion, schedule an appointment with our dentist in West Des Moines.