The Role of Orthodontics in Managing Malocclusion


Achieving proper alignment between your lower and upper teeth is crucial for functions such as effective chewing and clear speech. Any imbalance can also affect your facial appearance negatively. If you notice any changes in how your upper and lower teeth come together, it’s important to promptly contact your Irving Texas orthodontist for a thorough assessment and appropriate treatment.

What is malocclusion?

A dental problem characterized by an incorrect relationship between your maxilla (upper jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw) is known as “Malocclusion.” Teeth alignment is an essential part of a healthy oral cavity. How your upper and lower dentition contact can favor factors like aesthetics, chewing, and speech.

What causes malocclusion?

Malocclusion can be hereditary (passed down through generations). However, you may suffer from it due to the following acquired causes as well:

  • Loss of teeth
  • Prolonged use of a pacifier
  • Bottle feeding
  • Thumb sucking
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Injuries and trauma
  • Tumors and cysts
  • Impacted tooth
  • Airway obstruction due to enlarged adenoids

How is malocclusion classified?

Class I

  • The upper teeth overlap with the lower teeth.
  • Type I: The teeth are inclined towards the tongue.
  • Type II: The tongue is angled from the lower teeth, whereas the upper teeth have particular narrow arches.
  • Type III: The upper portion of teeth are crowded and lean towards the tongue

Class II

  • This is the same as class I but more severe and can alter your bite.
  • Division I: The upper area of teeth lean toward the lips
  • Division II: The upper central incisors lean toward the tongue

Class III

  • It is a type of underbite where the lower teeth project out over the upper teeth
  • Type I: The teeth create an unusually shaped arch
  • Type II: The lower part of the front teeth is inclined toward the tongue.
  • Type III: The upper part of arch is not fixed, and the upper teeth have angle toward the tongue

What are the symptoms of malocclusion?

The following are the most striking features of malocclusion:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Chewing and speech problems
  • Frequent tongue or cheek-biting
  • Increased susceptibility to tooth decay
  • Headaches and facial pain due to excess pressure on the TMJ

How do dentists treat malocclusion?

Dentists often treat malocclusion through specially designed dental appliances.

  • Fixed multibracket braces: These are brackets fixed to the tooth surface and connected by an archwire.
  • Removable devices: Retainers, palate expanders, and headgear are common examples.
  • Clear removable braces: These are clear, flexible, and removable dental braces

Malocclusion is a frequent occurrence, particularly in children. Detecting its cause and treating it promptly is crucial to prevent complications such as development delays. Consult your dentist promptly to enhance your oral health, function, and appearance.

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