Hello! I’m Stephen and Kimberly Dankworth, DDS, of Oceanside Dental Excellence in Oceanside. Thanks for visiting my dental blog. The topic of today’s post is malocclusion–literally–”bad bite.”
Malocclusion Affects Many People
Edward Angle, a pioneer in modern orthodontics invented the term malocclusion. Malocclusion is fairly common in the population as a whole but, fortunately, in most cases the misalignment is so slight that it causes no issues.
When you combine multiple teeth on two arches and a jaw joint with a considerable range of motion, it is easy to see how these elements can fail to align properly. In fact, it is a wonder that they work correctly for most people–allowing them to talk, eat, and breathe without giving it a second thought.
Malocclusion Has Multiple Causes
There are many causes of malocclusion–some originating with the teeth and some originating with the jaw. Misshapen teeth, extracted teeth, impacted teeth, crowded teeth, and widely spaced teeth can influence the bite. Injury to the jaw can also cause malocclusion as well as improperly fitting restorations and other dental appliances.
Childhood Behaviors Can Cause Bite Problems
Children with a normal bite can develop bite issues with prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking or bottle drinking. In rarer cases, oral tumors can move a bite out of alignment.
Dentists Can Treat Malocclusion
The treatment for malocclusion depends on the cause. Orthodontics can move teeth into alignment to correct bite issues. Overcrowding often requires extraction of one or more teeth. Misshapen teeth that affect the bite can often be fixed with crowns or dental bonding.
If the jawbone is significantly misshapen or misaligned, maxillofacial surgery may be required. Jaw surgery is a serious undertaking with significant risks and a long, painful recovery. While the jaw heals, it is secured with wires and screws. Ouch!
Don’t Ignore Bite Problems
If your jaw hurts or you observe unusual wear to your teeth, it is important that you are examined by a professional. Call 760-439-3400 to schedule an appointment with Drs. Stephen and Kimberly Dankworth.
Our committed to excellence dental team has been serving patients at our comfortable Oceanside office since 2018. We can give you more specifics about malocclusion, porcelain veneers Invisalign, or restorative dentistry.
We also advise Oceanside parents about vital issues such as tooth development, thumb-sucking, water fluoridation, dental sealants, oral sports protection, and orthodontia. If you suspect that you or your child has any degree of malocclusion, schedule an exam ASAP. Untreated bite problems can inhibit proper nutrition, breathing, tooth development, and speech development.
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