Poor bite or crooked teeth means malocclusion. The upper and lower teeth line up refer to the way of bite. The upper teeth sit slightly forward of the lower teeth in a normal bite. Only a few people have a perfect bite. Malocclusion is a cosmetic problem; it means that people don’t like the way their teeth look mostly. On self-esteem, it can also have a serious impact. Crooked teeth can be hard to take care of, which may lead to tooth decay or tooth loss. It may cause problems with eating or speaking when malocclusion is severe. Orthodontic treatment may help a person feel better about his or her appearance. It can correct the way teeth and jaws align.

Treatment of Malocclusion

The malocclusions are treated by orthodontists who are specially trained. They use different techniques and tools to move teeth and sometimes the jaw into the right position. The cause of malocclusion is the problem with the shape of the jaw or teeth. Too much or too little room in the jaw is a common cause. The teeth may grow crowded or crooked. If a child’s jaw is small or too much space in the jaw, the teeth may drift out of place. Thumb sucking, pacifier use, and tooth loss are the other causes of malocclusion. It seems to be linked to long-term mouth breathing. The symptoms of malocclusion are in the teeth that are crooked or stick out.

Types of Malocclusion

There are many different types of malocclusion; some people have buck teeth, which means that the upper front teeth are pushed outward. Some people have an underbite, their lower front teeth sit further forward than their upper front teeth.

During regular dental visits for children, a dentist may usually check for malocclusion and diagnose it. The dentist can suggest a visit to an orthodontist if the jaw or teeth are out of line. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children get a checkup with an orthodontist by the age of seven.

Evaluation by Orthodontist

An orthodontist can ask the following questions and checkup: -1] check the mouth and teeth 2] ask questions about you and your child’s past health 3] take X-rays and photos of the face and teeth 4] making a plaster model of the teeth. Starting from the age of twelve months of age to your child and checkups are to be done two times a year. This will help the dentist find any problem early.

Malocclusion Recommendations

Treatment should be started in children and teens, crowding in the mouth is the most common problem. The first step in treatment may be to remove some baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth to grow in. When possible, orthodontists avoid removing permanent teeth. The next step is to attach braces. To correct the bite, the braces slowly move the teeth. In the right position, they can also help move the child’s jaw. The only way to correct an adult’s jaw problem is with surgery and braces can successfully straighten adult teeth as well. Even after braces treatment, the teeth naturally tend to drift out of place. So, you may need to wear a device in your mouth called a retainer to prevent your teeth from moving. Many years after treatment few people need to use retainers.

Treatment Duration

Orthodontic treatment often takes about two years, but it can take longer than planned. The adult treatment is longer than for a child. For your jaw problem if your orthodontist says you need surgery, think about a second opinion from another oral surgeon or orthodontist. This can help you make a decision that feels right for you. If your orthodontist offers a payment plan that can help you fit the expense into your budget.

Classes of Malocclusion

There are three classes of malocclusion, Class 1 malocclusion is an overlap of upper teeth over the lower teeth. Thumb sucking happens in childhood or due to prolonged bottle use. It can be fixed with minor malocclusion treatment but does not affect your bite that much. There are 3 types of malocclusion of teeth in Class 1. In type 1, the teeth lean towards the tongue and in type 2, the lower teeth are angled towards the tongue and the upper teeth stick out in narrow arches. In type 3 malocclusion, the upper teeth are crowded and lean toward the tongue. Class 2 malocclusion is also the upper stick out of the lower teeth, but this tooth is severe enough to significantly affect your bite, it needs early orthodontic intervention and may take time for malocclusion treatment to correct the alignment of your teeth. But it can be permanently treated. Class 3 malocclusion is a type of underbite where the lower teeth stick out the upper teeth. When some upper teeth and some lower teeth overlap each other, it can also be a crossbite. On the alignment of the teeth Class, 3 malocclusions are divided into 3 types. The teeth form an abnormally shaped arch in type 1, The lower front teeth are angled towards the tongue in type 2 and the upper arch is abnormal and the upper teeth are angled towards the tongue in type 3.

Types of Malocclusions

Different Types of Malocclusions:- 1) Overcrowding -lack of space from overlapping or crooked teeth 2) Spacing – little space for the teeth, its impact the eruption of the permanent teeth.3) Open bite – when the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap each other 4)Overjet -when the top front teeth extend beyond the lower front teeth horizontally 5)Overbite- is caused where the lower front teeth can also bite into the roof of the mouth 6) Underbite- when the lower front teeth are positioned far forward than the upper front teeth 7) Crossbite- when the upper front teeth are biting right inside the lower teeth, can also affect your front or back teeth 8) Diastema – between two adjacent teeth, usually the front teeth 9) Impacted tooth- cannot erupt from the gum and needs to be extracted or exposed so that a brace can be fitted 10) Missing tooth- also known as hypodontia, as a result of trauma or improper development of teeth.

Symptoms and Causes of Malocclusion

Malocclusion can also occur due to certain conditions or habits that induce changes in the shape and structure of the jaw. A common cause is a too much or too little room to erupt, as a result of which the teeth tend to drift out of their place. Other major causes of malocclusion include tooth loss, injuries, and trauma, cleft lip, and palate, prolonged use of a pacifier, sucking of the thumb, tumors in the mouth, bottling feeding, lack of oral care, impacted tooth, obstructed by enlarged adenoids or allergies. The symptoms of malocclusion include misaligned teeth, discomfort when biting or chewing foods, speech problems, difficulty in breathing through the mouth, frequent biting of tongue or checks, and change in the facial structure.

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