Common Dental conditions

Malocclusion

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion refers to any degree of irregular contact of the teeth in a single Jaw or between the teeth in the upper and the lower jaws. This would include overbites, underbites, Center Line Shifts, Overjets, openbites, and crossbites.

Simple examination by your child's orthodontist can discover the presence of any misalignment and he/ she can decide whether your child's bite will need correction. Specific system of deciding how much misalignment is too much have been used in recent days, The Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) is a rating system that’s used to determine whether individuals qualify for orthodontic treatment. Malocclusion can cause problems with the child's bite, gum tissue, jaw joint, speech development, and appearance. Early treatment can prevent many future complications.

Orthodontists are specially trained dentists who specialize in the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws. Orthodontists also have specialized training in facial abnormalities and disorders of the jaw. A patient often consults an orthodontist by booking directly or after receiving a referral from his or her general dentist. In some cases, a specialist in jaw surgery may need to be consulted.

What causes malocclusion?

There is no one single cause of malocclusion. Many different factors are involved, including genetic factors and/or environmental factors. Children who suck their thumbs or fingers beyond the age of 5 have an increased chance of developing malocclusion. Children with a very small space between their primary teeth (baby teeth) are at risk for having problems with malocclusion when their permanent teeth appear, because the permanent teeth are larger and require more space.

According to studies, very few people have perfect occlusion. However, most occlusion abnormalities are so minor that they do not require treatment.

There are some conditions or habits that may change the shape and structure of the jaw. These include:

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Frequent use of a pacifier after the age of 3
  • Prolonged use of bottle feeding in early childhood
  • Thumb sucking in early childhood
  • Injuries that result in the misalignment of the jaw
  • Tumors in the mouth or jaw
  • Abnormally shaped or impacted teeth
  • Poor dental care that results in improperly fitting dental fillings, crowns, or braces
  • Airway obstruction (mouth breathing), potentially caused by allergies or by enlarged adenoids or tonsils

How is malocclusion diagnosed?

Malocclusion is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child and your child's mouth. Your child's doctor will probably refer the child to a dentist or an orthodontist for complete evaluation and treatment. The following tests may also be done to help evaluate the problem:

  • X-rays. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic radiation to produce images of internal tissues, bones, teeth, and organs onto film of the mouth or head, or to capture the images in digital form on a computer.
  • Impressions of the teeth. Imprints of the teeth that are poured with plaster to make models of the mouth to help evaluate the malocclusion.

Treatment for malocclusion:

Specific treatment for malocclusion will be determined by your child's orthodontist based on:

  • Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference

At Tajmeel Centers we offer our patients all the latest technology to help them keep their healthy and well aligned teeth for life using the most up-to-date orthodontic appliances and techniques.

Visit our Orthodontists: for appointments call 800825