What Are Malocclusions?

  • Posted on: Nov 30 2015
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Your teeth are important to your health and perform vital functions for your well-being. Missing teeth can be a serious problem but maybe you haven’t considered the importance of the alignment of your teeth as it affects your health. It boils down to this: If your teeth are misaligned, they can’t perform the functions they’re designed for.

  • Misalignment could mean that an underbite, overbite, or crowded teeth are making it hard for you to chew your food properly.
  • Misalignment may mean that you need to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose.
  • Misalignment may result in speech problems or could alter the appearance of your face.

MalocclusionsOcclusion, or your “bite,” refers to the alignment of your teeth. They should fit easily within your mouth without crowding.
Malocclusion refers to the misalignment or imperfect positioning of your teeth when your jaw is closed. Malocclusion is a tooth alignment problem but it can also lead to serious oral health complications.

Proper alignment of your upper teeth prevents you from biting your lips and cheeks.
Proper alignment of your lower teeth protects your tongue from being bitten.

Most malocclusions are inherited making prevention difficult. However, there are some habits or conditions that may change the structure and shape of the jaw, such as:

  • Prolonged bottle feeding
  • Pacifier use after the age of three
  • Thumb sucking into early childhood
  • Abnormally shaped or missing teeth
  • Injury to the jaw
  • Cleft lip or palate

Most mild malocclusions do not require treatment, but severe malocclusions should be treated to prevent progression to TMJ (Temporomandibular Jaw) disorders.

Early detection is key in determining the type of and length of treatment – the earlier the treatment, the better the outcome.

Malocclusions are commonly treated with oral surgery in combination with orthodontic treatments. Some teeth may be removed to correct overcrowding and the jaw may be reshaped or shortened. Patients may be fitted with braces to aid in achieving their perfect “bite.”

Worried about your “bite’?
Call for an appointment at Wylie Dental Care, today, and let our team of professionals address your concerns and offer workable solutions: (304) 845-2480.

Posted in: General Dentistry

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