More about malocclusion

A malocclusion means ‘incorrect bite ’ – in simple terms, teeth alignment isn’t right, and jaws can’t bite together correctly. Ideally, when your mouth is closed, the teeth in the upper jaw should overhang the lower teeth by around 25%. If that isn’t happening, the implications of leaving it uncorrected can be significant. A misaligned bite can cause problems with eating, drinking, talking, sleeping, and just generally living life. So it’s essential to understand more about your particular situation and the best solution.

What is malocclusion?

Overcrowding or spacing

It is the most common type, and that is the situation where there are too many or too few teeth in the mouth. It means that the jaws can’t meet correctly, and for children, it may lead to further problems when adult teeth start to come through. Crowded teeth treatment might include creating extra space by expanding the arches, or by removing teeth. Orthodontic braces can help correct positioning, so all the teeth are then adequately aligned.

Upper protrusion

Also called an overjet, this is where the front teeth stick out more than they should. It’s also a prevalent condition in children and is often caused by thumb-sucking or overuse of a pacifier – though it can also be caused by the fact that the lower jaw is too small. Tongue thrusting and tongue forward-posture are also culprits. This is where the tongue sits in the wrong place in the mouth, whether from bad habits or genetics. Over time it pushes against teeth and changes their position.

Open bite

This situation is when the teeth at the back of the mouth usually meet, but the front teeth don’t – leaving a gap between them. It can also happen with the teeth at the side of the mouth, as well as the front. While this kind of bite is typical for kids transitioning from their primary to adult teeth, your dentist will be able to decide if it needs treatment. A professional dentist must help in guiding you on both the problem and the solution. Other supportive forms of therapy might be required to fix the problem for the long term properly. For example, some children might need speech or myofunctional therapy, which re-teaches the muscles in the mouth so that they can sit in the right place. Without this, the dental problems might come back again.

Overbite

It is similar to an overjet, in that the upper jaw sits too far ahead of the lower jaw for teeth alignment. But, it also means that the ‘bite’ is deeper than it should be. That means that your top teeth could damage the gums of your lower jaw.

Crossbite and anterior crossbite

Both of these are types of an overbite, where the upper jaw sits behind the lower jaw, instead of in front of it as normal. An anterior crossbite is where the upper teeth at the top are also sitting behind the lower front teeth.

An impacted or missing tooth, and diastema

In these types of malocclusion, either a tooth isn’t there, it’s in the wrong place, or there’s a big gap between one tooth and another. These can all be corrected by your dentist before further damage is caused.

Getting treatment

Every case of malocclusion is different, and for growing children, it usually becomes more complicated. It’s always better to get a professional evaluation from the best dental clinic in Dubai, such as Drs. Nicolas & Asp. Some of the cases of malocclusion can correct itself as your child grows older, or there may be a condition that’s invisible now but could cause problems later if left untreated. So, if you think that you or your child are facing one of these conditions, see your dentist at Drs. Nicolas & Asp as soon as you can.