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Malocclusions are dental problems that can seriously affect your teeth, jaws and face. For those of you who are not aware, a malocclusion occurs when the teeth and jaws are not positioned properly in the mouth. This results in an improper fitting between the lower and upper teeth, which is called the ‘bite’. The ideal bite should be result in the upper teeth slightly fitting over lower teeth and the molars fitting perfectly with their groves matching.
What Causes Malocclusion?
Malocclusion is basically caused by lost teeth, extra teeth, impacted teeth or teeth with an abnormal shape. These conditions can be triggered by several causes themselves. In fact, the condition is so common that almost everyone in the world has some degree of malocclusion. Here is a look at the some of the most common causes of malocclusion of the teeth.
1. Hereditary- most cases of malocclusion are a result of genes being passed through families
2. Prolonged childhood habits- pacifiers, bottles and thumb sucking are bearable to a certain age, but these habits can cause malocclusion and other health problems if they continue for long. This is the second-largest cause of malocclusion
3. Injuries or accidents- Injuries can break teeth away or change its shape, which can trigger malocclusion.
4. Mouth and jaw tumors, badly fitted braces, crowns, retainers and other dental fillings
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Effect of malocclusion on teeth
• Badly aligned teeth can be difficult to clean in some cases. If that is the case, then you will not be able to take care of your dental hygiene, which will result in gum disease, tooth decal and other problems.
• The vertical overlap of upper incisors (the two teeth in front) over the lower incisors is called overbite, and severe cases of overbite can cause abnormal tooth wear, speech problems and tongue-thrusting habits
• Malocclusion may trigger temporomadibular joint disorders or migraines in severe cases
Malocclusions can be taken care of rather easily during childhood, adolescent and young adulthood through teeth straightening.
However, a delay in treatment can worsen the effects of malocclusion and extreme treatment procedures, like dental surgery, may be required at later stages.