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