Malocclusion and the Best Way to Treat It

Malocclusion is made by combining two words, mal, and occlusion. To properly understand this term, you must first understand occlusion and its definition. Occlusion means the proper position of jaws and teeth. When the jaws are in harmony with each other and have a correct overlap, and on the other hand, the teeth are aligned, it means that there is a natural occlusion. Anything that disturbs this harmony is malocclusion. One of the best dentist in Richmond Hill explains that "Mal" in this phrase means that the coordination is broken and the occlusion is not normal. For example, crowding of teeth is a type of malocclusion; protruding, forward, or backward jaw is similarly a type of jaw disharmony.

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What Are the Main Symptoms of Malocclusion?

Many people are born with jaw misalignment, and the symptoms may be obvious initially. However, most people show jaw problems within the first few years.

Some of the symptoms of malocclusion include:

  • Abnormal alignment of teeth

  • Abnormal wear of teeth together

  • Changing the structure of the face

  • Repeated biting of the inner cheeks or tongue

  • Difficulty chewing or biting

  • speech problems

  • Breathing through the mouth, instead of the nose, is known as mouth breathing.

What Causes a Jaw Misalignment Problem?

Although several external and environmental factors can cause disharmony and misalignment of the jaws, the main cause of malocclusion is hereditary and genetic problems passed from one generation to another.

Some of the environmental factors causing or aggravating jaw misalignment are:

  • Frequent use of a pacifier after 3 years of age

  • thumb sucking

  • Damage to the jaw and face

  • The presence of hidden or semi-hidden teeth in the jaw

  • Grinding teeth

What Are the Different Types of Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is divided into 3 categories or so-called 3 classes based on the amount of misalignment and is named in classes 1 to 3 from low to high severity.

Class 1

The first type of malocclusion is when the upper and lower jaws are aligned and in their normal position; however, the main problem is the teeth' position. For example, the teeth are crowded, or the distance between the teeth is a problem.

Class 2

The second type of intermaxillary misalignment is when the teeth of the upper jaw or the entire upper jaw are in front of the lower jaw. Of course, pay attention to the fact that the upper jaw is a few millimeters ahead of the lower jaw in a normal state, but in a class 2 anomaly, the upper jaw is abnormally much ahead of the lower jaw.

This condition is often called overbite or overjet and can be resolved with orthodontic treatment, jaw surgery, or a combination of both.

Class 3

Class III malocclusion occurs when the lower teeth are too far before the upper teeth. This problem is commonly known as underbite. The treatment of this problem will be orthodontics or jaw dentist in Richmond Hill

How Is Malocclusion Treated?

The lack of coordination of the jaws does not require any treatment if it is mild and minor and has not caused any problems. But if the malocclusion is moderate to severe, it must be treated by an orthodontist or jaw surgeon.

With the help of orthodontic devices, an orthodontist can solve the mildest to the most severe problems related to dental and jaw misalignment. Suppose the problem is so severe that the orthodontist alone cannot solve the problem (for example, in old age). In that case, the need for jaw surgery is also felt, called ortho surgery, orthognathic surgery, or even orthodontic surgery.

How to Prevent Malocclusion?

Since jaw and dental disharmony can be caused by a combination of genetic factors and habits or environmental factors, it may be possible to prevent its aggravation or occurrence to some extent. Controlling environmental factors makes this circumstance possible, but malocclusion, caused by genetics, cannot be prevented.

To partially prevent this problem, the following measures can be taken:

  • Limiting the use of pacifiers or bottles at a young age

  • Prevention of finger sucking by the child

  • Use of guard and oral speech during exercise

  • Taking care of oral health from an early age

  • Seeking help from dentists and orthodontic specialists

  • Refer to the orthodontic specialist's office on time if you see signs of malocclusion at a young age

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