Malocclusion is the improper alignment of the teeth (and how the teeth fit together), and the jaw ache problems that occur when the bite (how the upper and lower teeth come in contact with one another) is incorrect. Malocclusion also encompasses teeth alignment problems, such as crooked teeth or gaps between the teeth. In an ideal situation, the upper teeth should rest just slightly over the lower teeth. With proper occlusion, the lower teeth work to protect the tongue, while the upper teeth will keep the lips and the inner cheeks from being bitten.
Causes of Malocclusion
Malocclusion or the improper alignment of the upper and lower teeth is often hereditary, with this condition often seen in families. Differences in the size of the upper and lower jaw, as well as irregularities in the shape and size of the teeth, can also lead to malocclusion problems and symptoms.
Some of the other reasons for malocclusion include:
- Birth defects (such as cleft lip or cleft palate)
- Extra teeth (causing the teeth to become overcrowded)
- Childhood habits (such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, prolonged use of a feeding bottle, and using a pacifier after the age of three
- Ill-fitting dental appliances, dental fillings, dental crowns, dental braces, or retainers
- Severe injuries to the jaw, causing jaw fractures that can become misaligned
- Mouth and/or jaw tumours
Symptoms of Malocclusion
- Abnormal or improper teeth alignment
- Irregularities or abnormalities in facial appearance/structure
- Difficulties in proper speaking (such as the presence of a lisp)
- Discomfort or difficulties when chewing or biting
- Frequent mouth breathing (breathing through the mouth while the lips stay open)
The treatment will depend on what is causing the malocclusion in the first place. Orthodontics and teeth extraction are usually done for malocclusion that stems from extra or overcrowded teeth; if ill-fitting dental appliances or restorations are the cause of malocclusion, the proper adjustments or replacements should be done in order to address the symptoms. The goal of malocclusion treatment is to provide long-lasting solutions to the improper alignment of teeth, so that the pain and discomfort of malocclusion can be addressed in the most efficient manner.
Do your upper and lower teeth fit comfortably when you close your mouth? Have you had any problems with improper teeth alignment? Please LEAVE A REPLY below, and share your experiences and comments with us!