Table of Contents
What Is Malocclusion and Potential Treatment Options
What is malocclusion? You’ve probably heard about this term, as it is quite common. Actually, most people have it to a degree. Of course, it is not always a problem, and it mostly comes down to the severity of the situation.
Keep in mind that malocclusion can cause various other problems, and it’s not rare for a patient to experience tooth loss. Implants can be more than helpful for replacing missing teeth, and it is even possible to wear dentures to solve the problem.
Dentures can help even if you have implants, and it is a simple way to solve the problem. Here is everything you need to know about misalignment, how to recognize it, as well as various treatment options that are available today.
What Is Malocclusion?
Malocclusion is a term used to describe the misalignment of teeth between the upper and lower jaw. That means you won’t look at upper and lower teeth individually but at how they align.
Additionally, the misalignment is checked as the lower and upper jaws close. That means that any kind of deviation from the ideal state or properly aligned teeth can be categorized as malocclusion.
There are different types of malocclusion, and it is the most common among children since the jaw is still developing.
Types of Malocclusion
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of malocclusion, and they are separated into three main classes.
- Class 1 malocclusion – The first type is when upper molars overlap with lower ones but are in a good position. Other teeth will be either too crowded or too far from each other. The misalignment is not severe, and it is the most common type.
- Class 2 malocclusion – The second type is reserved for a severe overbite, which means that the upper teeth will completely cover the lower ones. This is common for people who have smaller jaws.
- Class 3 malocclusion – The third type is for a severe underbite, where lower teeth are positioned in front of the upper ones. As a result, the jaw might stick out from its normal position.
The treatment method will mostly depend on the type of malocclusion, and there is no universal solution that can apply to every scenario.
What Causes It?
In the majority of cases, malocclusion is hereditary. That is, it is up to your genetics whether you will struggle with it or not. It can be caused by the size of your jaw, as well as the size of your teeth. Additionally, some birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate, can also cause problems in the future.
But other development factors can contribute to it as well. Thumb sucking at a later age can cause a problem as the child grows up, and the same thing applies to using pacifiers for children older than three.
Other causes include abnormally shaped teeth, lost teeth, extra teeth, and any injuries to teeth and jaws.
Symptoms of malocclusion are easy to spot. And any dentist will be able to do it in no time. The first thing they should look for is the abnormal alignment of teeth. But at the same time, it can have an impact on a patient’s face as well.
For example, having a severe underbite will cause the lower jaw to stick out from the rest of the face. A person with this condition might also experience problems while eating or chewing and, in rare cases, have problems while talking.
In most cases, they will have to breathe through their mouth.
Can You Prevent It?
Now, the question is whether it is possible to prevent this situation from occurring in the first place. The answer is yes — there are a couple of potential things you can try.
As mentioned earlier, for example, thumb-sucking and pacifiers can lead to this problem, and the only thing you can do is discourage your child from doing it after they are older than three.
But again, the condition is mostly hereditary, which is something you won’t be able to affect. But that doesn’t mean that you are all out of options. There are still ways to treat this condition, even after it appears.
While prevention is always the best option for dental problems, there are issues that are unavoidable. However, you can start treating it at an early stage to avoid more complicated scenarios.
Is There a Treatment?
Yes. The type of orthodontic treatment will mostly depend on the class of malocclusion. But each category has its own treatment methods. Braces can be quite helpful for treating the condition, and they will allow the patient to have properly aligned teeth.
If jaws slightly overlap, clear aligners are also a good option. But there are cases where braces will require more work. If the jaw is overcrowded, removing a few teeth might be the best option.
Finally, a severe underbite can be fixed with surgeries. The bone in the lower jaw can be shortened, allowing the jaws to align properly.
What to Do?
The best way to know what to do is to talk to your dentist. They will be able to assess the condition and refer you to an orthodontist if needed. You will also learn all about possible treatment options, whether tooth removal is necessary, and how to solve the problem.
Naturally, it takes time. It isn’t something you can solve in a couple of days, but it is worth the effort. Oral health is still important, and you will need to brush and floss on a regular basis.
Overcrowded teeth can be easily damaged, and you don’t want to add tooth decay to the list of problems. And while the majority of malocclusions are not preventable, there are so many different ways to treat the condition, allowing you to have a beautiful smile in the end.
Overdentures in Arlington Heights, IL
A combination of dentures and implants is one of the best options for people who are looking for something new. For many people, traditional dentures can be uncomfortable, and this will give you a semi-permanent solution to your problems.
If you live in Arlington Heights, Illinois, you can visit New Family Dental and learn all about this incredible method. The team is experienced, and they will be able to tell you about the different methods available and find the one that will be perfect for you.