What causes teeth misalignment and how can it be corrected?

What Is a Misalignment of teeth?

Misalignment of teeth is a clinical term also known as Malocclusion, leading to oral health complications such as underbites, overbites, crossbites, and overcrowding. Because the teeth are misaligned, or there is gapped teeth, it becomes difficult to carry out essential functions such as chewing, biting, and speaking. However, orthodontists are specially trained to treat all types of Misalignments of teeth and effectively correct the jaw’s order of teeth. This can affect oral and digestive health if left untreated. Any malocclusion detected by your dentist will be classified according to its type and severity.

What Causes Misalignment of teeth?

Most people having Misalignment of teeth in some form is due to genetic factors or poor oral hygiene. Malocclusion can also occur due to certain habits that cause changes in the shape and structure of the jaw. If the child’s jaw is small, the teeth may become narrow or crooked. If there is too much space in the jaw, the teeth can stray out of place.

Other significant causes of malocclusion inclusion include:

  • Tooth loss
  • Prolonged use of a pacifier
  • Thumb sucking
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Injuries and trauma
  • Tumours in the mouth
  • Bottle feeding
  • Impacted tooth
  • Lack of oral care
  • Airway obstructed by enlarged adenoids or allergies

What are the Symptoms of Malocclusions?

Depending on the cause of malocclusion, symptoms include:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Discomfort when biting or chewing food
  • Speech problems
  • Difficulty in breathing through the mouth
  • Frequent biting of tongue or cheeks
  • Change in the facial structure

What are the Different Types of Malocclusions?

  1. Overcrowding: Overcrowding is a familiar condition typically caused due by a lack of space resulting from overlapping or crooked teeth.
  2. Underbite: When the lower front teeth are far forward than the upper front teeth, an underbite is known as an anterior crossbite.
  3. Overbite: A bit of overlapping of the lower front teeth is usual. But when the upper front teeth are corroding into the gums, a severe overbite can be the outcome.
  4. Overjet: When the top front teeth extend beyond the lower front teeth horizontally, interfering with the functions of chewing food and speaking.
  5. Crossbite: A crossbite can happen on any or both sides of the jaw. This happens when the upper front teeth are colliding inside the lower teeth.
  6. Spacing: When there is excessive or little space for the teeth, it results in crowding, adversely impacting the eruption of permanent teeth.
  7. Missing tooth: Also known as hypodontia, this condition occurs due to trauma or improper development of teeth.

What is Treatment option for different types of Misalignments of teeth?

The treating dentist or orthodontist determines the exact type of treatment ordered for malocclusion on an individual basis. Visual examinations and panoramic x-rays of the entire mouth are taken before deciding on a suitable treatment.

  1. Braces – most braces can treat almost any kind of Misalignment of teeth, ranging from crossbites to overcrowding and minor spacing issues.
  2. Retainers are usually used to hold the teeth in the correct position whilst the jawbone grows properly around them.
  3. Invisalign: Invisalign is used to treat some of the more minor Misalignment of teeth, such as spacing or overcrowding. Invisalign does not commonly treat Misalignment of teeth caused by improper placement or growth of the jaw, such as overbites and underbites.

Depending on the type of deformity and the characteristics of the tooth, the ability of orthodontic structures is limited. For instance, internal braces are not recommended for severe crowding of teeth because their treatment is much longer. On the other hand, improperly treating an obstruction in early childhood is recommended for cheaper and faster treatment. Adults can also benefit but expect a more prolonged and more expensive treatment.

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