Malocclusion of the teeth can lead to serious oral health complications down the road. The term malocclusion refers to the misalignment or imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaw closes. When teeth grow in an abnormal position, it can impact confidence in your smile because your teeth do not grow straight and it may require extraction treatment.
There are many kinds of malocclusion, briefly broken down below:
- Overcrowding – Overcrowding of teeth is caused by a lack of space. This can result in teeth to become crooked or even overlap. This is how impacted teeth, known as third molars, form. Read this article to learn about the cause of symptoms of impacted teeth.
- Overbite – There should always be overlap between your upper and lower teeth. When the upper teeth are too forward, this causes overbite. Your front teeth can bite down onto the gums.
- Crossbite – When your upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth, this is known as Crossbite. This can cause excessive wear-and-tear on teeth.
Malocclusion can greatly affect your self-confidence because of the way it impacts your smile. Other problems caused by malocclusion include:
An Altered Appearance
The most obvious problem caused by malocclusion is how it alters your appearance, not just to your smile, but the way you look and feel. All types of malocclusion makes your smile noticeably less attractive. Whilst there are many cosmetic treatments available to restore your smile, it damages the naturality in your appearance.
Food Debris and Plaque Build-Up
Having crooked or misaligned teeth means there is higher chance of food debris becoming stuck in your teeth. Trapped food debris can cause plaque build-up which can cause bacteria to build. Even when using a soft-bristle brush, debris will still remain.
Malocclusion can also cause jaw strain. When you open and close your mouth, you’re likely to experience stiffness and hear a clicking noise in some instances. This is due to the uneven pressure caused by either overbite or crossbite.
Speech Development Difficulties
The natural habits that cause overcrowding when younger play an important role in causing malocclusion. With malocclusion, some people may develop lisps and other speaking difficulities. Smooth tooth development plays an important role in speech development for a clear sound in your voice.
Biting and Chewing Difficulties
When the upper and lower teeth do not bite down together in its required position, not only does it make it difficult for you to bite and chew your food properly, your teeth also grind together, causing excessive wear-and-tear on teeth. This damages your teeth even further and may lead to further cosmetic treatment.
Your mouth won’t be able to function properly without straight teeth. Malocclusion isn’t something that occurs naturally by itself. There are conditions or habits that can alter the positioning of teeth stemming from childhood, such as:
- Thumb sucking in early childhood
- Trauma causing jaw misalignment
- Poor dental care resulting in fillings or crowns
- Excessive bottle feeding during childhood
- Use of a pacifier at an older age