Understanding Causes, Classifications, and Cure for Dental Malocclusions

Cosmetic DentistryPerhaps you are wondering why there are certain individuals who wear dental braces while others use a form of clear mouthpiece on their teeth. Maybe you have also seen some individuals having problems chewing on their food or emitting funny sounds with each bite.

In both cases, these individuals are suffering from dental malocclusion. Simply put, their teeth are not in the correct and proper alignment.

What Causes Malocclusion?

North London cosmetic dentistry experts, such as Auradentallondon.co.uk, believe that majority of malocclusion cases take on a hereditary pattern. This simply means that you are born with it and that malocclusion runs in your family. Other causes can include thumb sucking, the use of pacifiers beyond 3 years old, and the unusually prolonged bottle-feeding. Problems in the structure of the jaw including some issues with dentition can all lead to malocclusion.

Are there Types of Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is generally divided into three classes and is best differentiated depending on the placement of the jaw. If the upper teeth and jaw severely overlaps the lower jaw and teeth, it is called an overbite. If the reverse occurs, wherein the lower part severely overlaps the upper jaw, it is called an underbite. Overbite or retrognathism is a class 2 malocclusion while underbite or prognathism is a class 3 type of malocclusion. Class 1 is the most common type wherein the upper jaw and teeth slightly overlaps the lower part.

Can It be Treated?

Class 1 malocclusion generally does not require treatments. As long as it does not severely affect the way you eat, it is perfectly alright to live with a Class 1 malocclusion.

However, for Class 2 or 3 malocclusion, treatments may be necessary in order to realign the teeth and the jaw. This is primarily intended to facilitate easier cleaning, prevent the development of gum diseases, and lower the risk of tooth decay.

Depending on the severity of the malocclusion, treatment options may include,

  • the use of dental braces, retainers, or clear aligners;
  • the repair of teeth that is rough or irregularly shaped;
  • the correction of overcrowding through the removal of one or more teeth; and
  • surgery for reshaping the jaws.

While it may be normal to have a not-so-perfectly aligned set of teeth, it is always advisable to have it checked by your dentist. Remember that conditions vary by person. While some cases don’t necessarily need treatment, there are also those that need attention, which would otherwise be risk factors for tooth decay and gum diseases.