Malocclusion is a misalignment of the teeth that can cause many serious oral health issues. It is generally caused by a combination of inherited and behavioural factors.
There are several different types of malocclusion, including crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, crossbite and open bite.
All of these types of teeth misalignment can mean that the teeth won’t perform their function properly when it comes to eating, and they can also inhibit the patient’s ability to speak and breathe normally.
So what actually causes malocclusion to occur? Can it be prevented?
Malocclusion is usually an inherited condition, and so in many cases, it can’t be prevented. That said, if caught early on, it can be treated, thereby keeping the problem from becoming worse over time.
In some cases, malocclusion is the result of certain conditions or habits that can be prevented or curtailed. If these issues are dealt with early enough, then malocclusion can be avoided. Some of these conditions and habits include
- frequent pacifier use past the page of 3
- thumb sucking past the age of 3
- prolonged bottle feeding
- injuries resulting in jaw misalignment
- poor dental care resulting in tooth loss
If the above problems are nipped in the bud early enough, the malocclusion that might otherwise result can be avoided.