Improving Your Dental Care

What Is Malocclusion?

While sitting in the dentist's chair, you may hear the dentist saying words like "malocclusion" while examining your teeth. A dentist can spot malocclusion without much effort or many tools, which makes the issue stand out. If you have wondered what the dentist is talking about and what options are available for treatment, keep reading.

What Is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion occurs when the teeth are not properly aligned. Your upper teeth might overlap your bottom teeth, for instance. Malocclusion is something you might not necessarily notice, and it may not even bother you.

One of the problems with malocclusion is that it creates an uneven bite for your teeth, which can put unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth over time.

Another problem with malocclusion is that it can prevent you from brushing your teeth normally. The overlapping could make it easy for you to miss areas of your mouth, creating a place for cavities and decay to take hold.

What Causes Malocclusion?

Several causes of malocclusion exist, and most of them develop when you are still quite young.

Your jaw and your teeth might have some proportion issues. Malocclusion can also be caused by unhealthy habits in childhood, including tongue thrusting and thumbsucking. Birth defects can also contribute to the problem.

How Can You Treat Malocclusion?

There are a few ways to treat malocclusion. Your dentist will recommend a treatment option based on your needs and the cause of your problem.

Braces are one method professionals use to treat this issue. You may need to visit an orthodontist for braces and other gear that can be used to straighten your teeth and adjust your jaw for better alignment.

Sometimes, a dentist will decide to remove teeth to address malocclusion. Removing teeth can help the jaw and the smile adjust to meet properly and avoid overlapping teeth.

In rare cases, you may need surgery to treat the problem. While surgery is rare, it can certainly help you if your jaw is significantly misaligned and other treatment methods simply will not work.

What Should You Do If You Have Overlapping Teeth?

If your teeth are overlapping, it is a good idea to seek treatment for malocclusion. Your dentist can provide you with some accurate information about the best treatment options for your specific dental concerns. Make an appointment with a dentist today to address any pain you feel from the malocclusion as well.