The subject of this blog post from Aspen Ridge Dental in Casper WY is malocclusion, which literally means “bad bite.”
Edward Angle, a pioneer in modern orthodontics, coined the term malocclusion. It’s fairly common in the population as a whole, but fortunately, in most cases the misalignment is so slight it causes no problems.
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 a second thought.
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.
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.
The treatment for malocclusion depends on the cause. Orthodontics can move teeth into alignment to correct bite troubles. 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!
If your jaw hurts or you see unusual wear to your teeth, it is critical that you are examined by a professional. At Aspen Ridge Dental in Casper WY, we offer clear braces from Invisalign, and traditional metal braces. Schedule an orthodontics appointment with us to find out which are right for you.
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