Malocclusion is a problem with the misalignment of teeth and is often treated by West Palm Beach TMJ dentists. This problem can lead to various oral health problems and is also known as underbite, overbite, crossbite, crowded teeth or open bite. When a person has a malocclusion, the teeth are not capable of performing vital functions such as chewing due to the misalignment.
Usually, malocclusion is a result of heredity. There is a possibility that the condition may be passed down from generation to generation. However, certain habits and medical conditions can also cause a malocclusion by changing the structure and shape of the jaw. For instance, children born with a cleft palate or cleft lip, those who have suffered from injuries to the jaw or have had tumors in the jaw or mouth are likely to develop a malocclusion. If children continue to use a pacifier after the age of 3, continue with bottle feeding or suck their thumbs they may also develop a malocclusion. Additionally, braces, crowns or dental fillings that were not properly fit can also lead to abnormalities in the jaw.
The symptoms of a malocclusion may either be severe or mild as per the type of malocclusion that the patient is dealing with. Some of the most typical symptoms include an altered facial appearance, discomfort during chewing or biting, problems with speech, developing a lisp and breathing through the mouth. If a child or an individual has an improperly aligned mouth, they should receive the attention of a TMJ dentist before the condition leads to further complications.
Malocclusion of teeth is divided into three major classes; class 1, 2 and 3. The diagnosis of the condition is done with dental exams and X-rays to determine whether your teeth are correctly aligned. A mild malocclusion may not require any treatment. However, in severe cases, treatment options such as braces, removal of teeth, reshaping, capping, bonding and even surgery may be recommended. In extreme cases, plates and wires will be required to stabilize the jaw bone.
Preventing malocclusion is not always possible as most cases are inherited. However, limiting bottle and pacifier use in young children can help prevent the condition from developing in an otherwise healthy jaw. Treating malocclusion in children is significantly easier and less expensive than treating the condition in adults. Early detection can help reduce the length and severity of the treatment options.