Malocclusion, which is often simply referred to as crooked teeth, happens when your upper and lower teeth do not line up properly. Early diagnosis is important because it can lead to jaw pain, cavities, bite problems and a smile that is not as attractive as it could be. It is a common problem that can easily be treated with orthodontic care.
Causes of Malocclusion
The most common cause of malocclusion is heredity as it often occurs in families. Heredity controls the processes that determine the size and shape of the upper and lower jaws. Other causes of malocclusion include thumb sucking, extra teeth, premature tooth loss, oral cancer and injuries to the mouth.
Complications of Malocclusion
Malocclusion may cause you to breathe with your mouth open at night. Tooth decay is common with untreated malocclusion because the teeth are difficult to reach or are crowded together in a way that makes it difficult to brush and floss all of the surfaces. People with malocclusion may also have speech problems due to the shape and configuration of their teeth.
Treatments for Malocclusion
The primary treatment for malocclusion is braces. In some cases, children who are still growing might be able to use a palate expansion device and then have braces placed. The braces slowly move your teeth into the correct position and alignment. There are many kinds of braces, including metal and ceramic braces that fit on the exterior or interior side of your teeth. A newer option for orthodontic care uses clear plastic aligners that are custom made for your teeth. They also slowly move your teeth into the correct position in your mouth.
Contact the office of Joshua Ignatowicz, DMD today to learn about the treatment options for malocclusion.