Malocclusion is ‘bad bite’ or that the teeth are not properly aligned.
The term itself comes from the Latin “mal” which means “bad,” and “occlusion” which means “bite”). It results from an incorrect relationship between the upper teeth and lower teeth.
The upper teeth should fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points of the molars should fit the grooves of the opposite molar.
Malocclusion is very common and it is best treated at an early age.
Causes of Malocclusion
Malocclusion is often present at birth and can manifest as irregular jaw or mouth size, or even a cleft lip and palate
It can also be acquired from habits
- Genetics or Hereditary.
- Thumb sucking, finger sucking, tongue thrusting or other oral habits
- Pacifier use beyond age 3 or prolonged use of feeding bottle.
- Difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws or between the jaw and tooth size. This may cause crowding or excessive spacing of teeth.
- Abnormal shaped jaw.
- Dental appliances.
- Premature loss of baby teeth in children.
- Missing teeth or extra teeth.
- Impacted teeth.
- Abnormally shaped teeth.
- Ill-fitting dental fillings, crowns, dentures and other dental appliances.
- Injury to the jaw or teeth.
- Tumors of the mouth or jaw.
- Enlarged tonsils and adenoids that lead to mouth breathing.
Diagnosis: It is most often found during a routine dental examination, usually causing no pain or symptoms.
- Class 1– the most common and occurs when the upper teeth just slightly overlap the lower teeth.
- Class 2– Also called an “overbite” – the upper teeth and jaw severely overlap the lower teeth and jaw.
- Class 3– Also called an “underbite” – the lower teeth and jaw overlap the upper teeth and jaw.
Other types of malocclusion
A cross bite or scissors bite is often present in childhood and doesn’t correct itself as the patient ages. The misalignment can be between the front teeth or back teeth or both, and the effects on your health can be serious
A cross bite may be found in any of the different types of malocclusion
Effects of Malocclusion
- Crooked, Crowded or protruded teeth.
- Gums or periodontal disease.
- Cavities in the teeth.
- Temperomandibular joint dysfunction(TMJ)
- Eating or digestive problems.
- Speech problems.
- Loss of confidence.
- Severe headaches.
- Mental issues
- Sleeping disorders
- Teasing by peers leading to mental disorders
- Effect on appearance: as a result, a child or teenager may endure teasing at school and suffer from low self-esteem
- Braces or Clear Aligners
- The best time to correct a misaligned bite is as a child or teenager, and
treatment options are also available for adults.
Call our office at 0700DENTIST or 0811-113-1200 if you have questions or concerns regarding getting affordable Braces or Clear Aligners!!!