Malocclusion of Teeth – What is it?

Occlusion is a term used for the alignment of your teeth. Normally, your teeth need to fit easily inside your mouth, with no crowding or spacing issues. Also, none of your teeth should appear rotated or twisted. The teeth in your upper jaw should overlap the teeth of your lower jaw slightly. This would allow the pointed ridges of your molars to fit into the groves of your opposite molar. If your teeth are not in this normal occlusion, they become a victim of malocclusion.

Dr. Ganesh Vaiyapuri Created on 29th Dec, 20

Many people in Nungambakkam, Chennai have a malocclusion. They visit their dental hospital in Chennai looking for a solution to this problem. Are you concerned about this problem as well? In this article, we have mentioned everything you need to know about malocclusion. 

 

Malocclusion is a misalignment issue that can lead to severe oral health complications. It has many other names like:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite

 

So let’s get into an overview of this condition first.

 

What is Malocclusion?

Occlusion is a term used for the alignment of your teeth. Normally, your teeth need to fit easily inside your mouth, with no crowding or spacing issues. Also, none of your teeth should appear rotated or twisted. The teeth in your upper jaw should overlap the teeth of your lower jaw slightly. This would allow the pointed ridges of your molars to fit into the groves of your opposite molar. If your teeth are not in this normal occlusion, they become a victim of malocclusion.

Proper alignment of your teeth is crucial. Your upper teeth alignment helps prevent the cheeks and lips from being bitten, whereas your lower teeth’ alignment helps to protect the tongue from being bitten.

 

Causes of Malocclusion

Usually, malocclusion is an inherited condition. However, some situations might change the shape and structure of your jaw:

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Prolonged use of bottle-feeding
  • Thumb sucking in your early childhood
  • Injuries that result in the misalignment of the jaw
  • Tumors in your jaw or mouth
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Impacted teeth or abnormally shaped teeth
  • Poor dental care causes improperly fitting dental fillings
  • Airway obstruction caused by allergies or tonsils

 

Symptoms of Malocclusion

Symptoms depend on the classification of your malocclusion; they may appear mild or severe. Usual symptoms include:

  • Improper alignment of your teeth
  • Change in the appearance of your face
  • Discomfort while you are biting or chewing
  • Frequent biting occurs of inner cheeks or tongue
  • Speech problems, like the development of a lisp
  • Breathing with a mouth instead of a nose

 

Early detection of your malocclusion can help you cut down the length and severity of your treatment. If your child is affected by malocclusion, treatment in childhood itself will cut down the time and cost of treatment significantly. Hence, do not hesitate to consult a dentist in Nungambakkam.

 

Classifications of Malocclusions

Diagnoses of malocclusions happen through routine dental checks. Your dentist will check and examine your teeth and perform dental X-rays to determine if you have a proper teeth alignment. If the doctor determines that you have malocclusion, they will classify it by its type and severity.

 

There are 3 major classes of malocclusion:

Class 1

If your upper teeth overlap with your lower teeth, it is a class 1 malocclusion. In this type, your bite will remain normal, and the overlap appears slight. Class 1 malocclusion is the most commonly found malocclusion in people.

Class 2

If you have a severe overbite, it is a class 2 malocclusion. It is also known as retrognathism, meaning that your upper teeth and jaw overlap the lower jaw and teeth significantly.

Class 3

In case if you have a severe underbite, it is a class 3 condition. It is also known as prognathism, where your lower jaw protrudes forward, causing your lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth and jaw.

 

How Is a Malocclusion of the Teeth Treated?

If you have mild malocclusion, you won’t require any treatment. However, your dentist will refer an orthodontist to you if you have a severe condition. 

 

Your orthodontist may recommend various treatments depending on the type of your malocclusion; these include:

  • Correcting teeth position using braces
  • Teeth removal to fix overcrowding
  • Capping, bonding, or reshaping of teeth
  • Surgery to shorten or reshape the jaw

 

The treatments for malocclusion can sometimes cause complications like:

  • Discomfort or pain
  • Tooth decay
  • Irritation of the mouth because of braces
  • Difficulty speaking or chewing while undergoing treatment

 

If you have hereditary malocclusion, preventing it might come out as difficult. If you are a parent, reduce the use of bottle feeders for your children, this would help with proper jaw development.

 

Even though adults can also get good results through treatment, it would take generally take longer and will be very expensive. The earlier you begin your treatment of malocclusion, the better your results.