Dental Malocclusion: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Posted on: 7 July 2015


Malocclusion is the improper alignment of teeth which affects dental function and the general visual appeal. This type of condition can cause serious oral discomfort as well as other dental complications when left untreated.  If you have mild or severe malocclusion, you should understand basic aspects of the condition. Here is a short description of the causes, symptoms and potential treatment procedures:

Causes of Malocclusion

Malocclusion is an inherited condition or trait which means that it is usually passed down along the generation line. If your family has a continuing history of the condition, you should be vigilant to ensure that any misalignment is dealt with as early as possible. There are different types of malocclusion problems so it is important to consult your dentist or an orthodontist for proper assessment and diagnosis. Common misalignment problems include overcrowding of teeth, protrusion of the front teeth in the upper dental arch and severe overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower ones.

For instance, your children may be vulnerable to the issue if you have the condition so you should ensure the dentist monitors their health. There are other factors that can induce or contribute to the advancement of malocclusion. Poor health conditions such as cleft lip and palate, oral tumours, jaw injuries and poorly placed dental devices like braces, fillings and crowns can contribute to misalignment. Habits such as thumb-sucking, prolonged use of the pacifier and extended bottle-feeding in early childhood are also important factors in malocclusion.

Symptoms of Malocclusion

The symptoms of dental malocclusion may be severe and apparent or subtle. You should recognise the typical signs so that you can seek specialised orthodontic care. The most obvious symptom is the misalignment of the teeth. In ideal circumstances, the teeth in the upper arch should overlap those in the lower jaw slightly.

The spacing should be comfortable but not wide and your teeth should never be twisted or transpositioned. You may also experience discomfort when biting or chewing, have speech problems and notice frequent biting of inner surfaces like the cheeks and tongue.

Treatment Options

Most mild cases of malocclusion do not require orthodontic treatment but you should consult the dentist for medical advice. Braces and correction trays are the most popular realignment devices for moderate malocclusion. Removal of teeth will correct overcrowding and recapping or bonding may be recommended for damaged teeth. If the condition is severe, surgery may be required to shorten or even to reshape the structure of the jaw to achieve ideal occlusion.

To learn more, contact a company such as Denticheck with any questions you have.