In orthodontics, malocclusion is understood as misalignment of teeth and jaws. It creates a bite problem that often needs to be corrected. There are many causes of malocclusion, including inheritance and behavioral factors. While some people with misaligned jaws experience no physical symptoms, others may experience pain in their jaws, gums, or teeth. There may also be visual signs of wear on the surface of the teeth or cavities between overlapping teeth.
An incorrect bite can affect a person’s speech and nature of the bite and interfere with the proper growth of the jaw. Misalignment can also interfere with proper brushing of teeth and gums, affecting a person’s overall oral health. Malocclusion is often inherited but can be acquired through habits such as thumb sucking.
- Severe malocclusion or underbite.
- Crowded teeth.
- Excess space between teeth.
- Protruding anterior teeth.
- Misaligned middle teeth.
Treatment for these bite problems depends on the severity. The duration of treatment can vary from six months to several years. In some cases, several stages of treatment are envisaged, especially in children whose jaws are still developing.
The types of malocclusion treatments consist of the use of fixed and removable appliances. Fixed devices that the patient cannot remove include staples and spring staples that attach to the staples. These devices slowly force the teeth to reposition and align the upper and lower jaw.
The tooth extraction may be required to allow the remaining teeth to reposition. It is done surgically and is usually only needed in cases of severe congestion. In other cases, if the tooth is prematurely lost or does not erupt at all, the orthodontist may use a spacer to hold the tooth in place. It prevents the surrounding teeth from moving to the site of the missing tooth during treatment.
If your problem is genuinely minor, the orthodontist will not offer any treatment. But in moderate to severe cases, it is best to correct this problem as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will be prone to recurrent cavities and periodontal disease. The orthodontist will correct the position of your teeth with braces.
If there is crowding in the mouth, one or two teeth can be removed to align the remaining teeth properly. The rough and misshapen edges of your teeth will also be corrected. If you already have other implants or replacements, your orthodontist will check or repair them.
A class 3 malocclusion can worsen if not corrected, and additional problems may also arise. If a malocclusion is ignored, persistent speech difficulties, excessive tooth wear, asymmetrical jaw development, gum disease, and tooth decay can occur. Anyone with malocclusion can find relief by talking to a qualified orthodontist.
It is important to consult a trained and experienced orthodontist to correct the malocclusion. The location of the teeth for each person is very different, so only a specialist can effectively correct the problem.