Misalignment of the teeth – Malocclusion of the Teeth

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Malocclusion of the teeth is described as a condition where there is an improper alignment of the teeth leading to serious oral health complications. Simply put, it is a condition when the teeth are where they are supposed to be.
It is often referred to as open bite, crowded teeth, over bite and cross bite. There would challenges in performing some essential functions such as speech disorder, inability to chew properly and so on where the teeth misaligned.
Characteristics
Generally, the teeth are expected to align easily within the mouth any space or gap issue. There should be no twisting or rotating teeth as the teeth of the upper jaw are supposed to overlap that of the lower jaw slightly to allow the fixing of the pointed ridges of the molar into the groves of the opposite molar.
When there is malocclusion, it resulted into several issues such as exposing the cheeks and lips to be bite by the teeth in the upper jaw while the tongue will be bitten by the teeth in the lower jaw.

 

 

Classification
There are basically three classification of malocclusion depending on the findings from the diagnosis.
When the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth it is referred to as classification 1. This is characterized with a normal bite and overlap. It is the most common classification of malocclusion.
When there is a major overlap of the upper teeth on the lower teeth, it is referred to as class 2. It is characterized with major overbite which is also known as retrognathism.
The third classification occurs when the lower teeth overlaps the upper teeth. It is characterized with major underbite implying that the low jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. This medical condition is known as prognathism.

 

 

Causes

The misalignment of the teeth is mainly an inherited oral health condition while some habits and conditions can also lead to misaligning of the teeth as the individual grows.
Common factors that causes malocclusion are continuous use of pacifier after the age of 3, sucking of thump in early childhood, frequent and long use of feeding bottle in early childhood, cleft lip and palate, abnormal growth of cells in the mouth or jaw, mouth injury resulting in jaw misalignment, poor dental care, breathing through the mouth as a result of obstruction in the airways and impacted teeth.

 

 

Symptoms

Incessant biting of the inner cheek
Airways obstruction leading to mouth breathing
Speech disorder
Misalignment of the teeth
Facial alteration
Chewing and biting disorder

 

 

Diagnosis
The main method of diagnosing this oral health condition is through regular dental examinations which involves evaluation of the teeth by a dentist. The doctor may order for an X-rays to see if the teeth alignment as expected.

 

 

Treatment

Removal of the overcrowded teeth
Using braces to re-align the teeth into their normal position
Reshaping of the lower jaw in case of prognathism
Reshaping and capping of the teeth
Stabilizing the jaw bone with wires.

 

 

Possible complications
It is unexpected to experience severe complications following the treatment of misaligned teeth, these include moderate to severe discomfort, mouth irritation, speech disorder and chewing related problems.

 

 

Prevention
Averting an inherited health disorder is always difficult if not impossible. However, there is need to minimize the use of feeding bottle while the baby is young to allow the baby acclimatized or familiarized with the changes in the development of the jaw.



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