Malocclusion is a medical term that refers to any irregularities with the alignment of your teeth or jaw. Although the condition may seem harmless, in severe cases it can cause numerous side effects. Additionally, it initiates many psychological concerns and self-esteem issues.
In the following article, we are going to discuss malocclusion, its types, how to treat it, and how much treatment would cost.
What Is Malocclusion?
Malocclusion refers to the misalignment of teeth or overcrowding as a result of either having large teeth or a small jaw. Likewise, it can refer to an irregular growth of the jaw bone where either the upper jaw or the lower jaw overlaps the other.
In the ideal alignment of teeth, the upper teeth should barely overlap the lower teeth, Likewise, the molars on the upper jaw and the lower jaw should be compatible where the points of one molar fit the grooves of the mirroring molars. This type of alignment ensures that you can efficiently use your teeth for speech and chewing. It protects the tongue and cheeks from bite injuries.
Deviation from this standard can occur naturally and at varying degrees. The more irregular the occlusion is, the more the side effects such as speech issues, digestive problems, and more; become prominent.
Is Malocclusion Genetics?
In most cases, malocclusion is a genetic condition that patients inherit from their parents. It refers to a misalignment or a mismatch between the upper and lower jaws where either can protrude over the other. All of these are features that our genetics control.
However, there are still some cases of malocclusion that patients acquire. The most common type of this type of malocclusion is pacifier teeth. Bad habits in childhood such as thumb sucking, can cause a type of malocclusion.
There are three different types of malocclusion:
Class 1 Malocclusion
Class 1 malocclusion happens to be the most common type of dental misalignment among patients. In this type of malocclusion, the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth but to a small extent. However, the bite is normal.
Class 2 malocclusion is a more dramatic version of class 1 misalignment. In this case, the overlapping between the upper jaw and bottom teeth is more severe. This kind of misalignment also goes by the names overbite or retrognathism.
Class 3 Malocclusion
Goes by the name underbite, or medically prognathism, this third class of jaw malocclusion describes a specific misalignment where the lower jaw and teeth overlap the upper jaw and teeth.
Open Bite Malocclusion
The open bite is a type of misalignment that is not hereditary. Children who continue to suck their thumbs or use pacifiers as their permanent teeth are coming through are at risk of developing an open bite.
What Causes Malocclusion?
More times than not, this problem is hereditary and can cause dental issues such as tooth overcrowding or irregular bite patterns.
Other causes include:
- Cleft lips (a birth defect that can cause malocclusion).
- Habits in childhood such as extensive use of pacifiers typically beyond the age of 3, extensive bottle feeding, thumb sucking, and even tongue thrusting can affect the distribution of teeth around the jaw.
- Extra teeth, tooth loss, or an abnormal shape of teeth
- Severe jaw injuries
- Tumors that affect the mouth and jaw
Can Invisalign Fix the problem?
The Invisalign is a set of clear aligners that are becoming a favorite among patients seeking orthodontic treatments. Because they’re transparent, Invisalign does not cause aesthetic issues for patients.
While previously aligners were a post-braces maintenance treatment, mild cases of malocclusion can respond really well to the Invisalign whether it be an underbite, an overbite, or an open bite.