Teeth misalignment is a very common problem faced by a large number of Canadians. Some don’t even consider it a problem anymore and rather assume it to be the very structure of their teeth. However, this is not true. Teeth misalignment is an actual condition, which is also known as malocclusion of teeth. Malocclusion occurs when your teeth do not align when the jaw is closed. This can be due to crooked teeth, underbite or overbite.
Causes of Misaligned Teeth
Malocclusion or misaligned teeth is a condition that is often innate. Some people suffer from misaligned teeth as a hereditary condition based on the facial feature in the family. There are also people who suffer from misaligned teeth as a result of the following:
- The untimely loss of milk teeth.
- Habits such as thumb sucking and thrusting of the tongue.
- Accidents that lead to jaw misalignment.
- Abnormal size or teeth that are impacted.
- Problems such as cleft lip.
- Gum diseases that lead to loosened gums.
- Misalignment of jaw due to conditions such as TMD
- The improper habit of breathing through the mouth.
- Extended use of pacifiers or the bottle for feeding milk during early childhood.
- Oral tumors in the mouth or on the jaw.
Effects of Misaligned Teeth
Patients suffering from misaligned teeth do not always opt for treatments as they do not understand the seriousness of the condition. If misaligned teeth are not treated, they can eventually lead to:
- Difficulty in properly cleaning teeth and eventually causing cavities and gum diseases.
- Difficulty in easily chewing food.
- Improper pressure while chewing that will lead to a broken tooth.
- Spoil the overall facial appearance.
- Difficulty in speaking that can cause a lisp.
Types of Misalignment
Before you understand how you can correct your teeth misalignment, you need to know the misalignment you are suffering from. There are five major types of misalignment of teeth people suffer from.
An overbite is a condition in which the upper jaw and teeth overlap your lower teeth and directly touch your gums. This condition is noticed majorly in the front teeth. An overbite is an innate form of misalignment.
An underbite is the exact opposite condition of an overbite. In this condition, the lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth when the jaw is closed. An underbite is also an innate form of misalignment.
Openbite occurs when the upper front teeth neither touch nor overlap the lower front teeth. This tends to leave an open gap with the front teeth even when the jaw is closed. The most common reason that causes an openbite is the habit of thumb sucking.
A crossbite is a type of misalignment in which the jaw does not align properly sideways, and causes the upper molars to bite inside the lower molars when the jaw is closed. Crossbite is an innate problem which is dependent on the structure of the jaw.
5. Crowded Teeth
Our mouth and jaw have a stipulated space to accommodate our teeth. Sometimes this spaces falls short, and the new growing teeth can actually overcrowd the other teeth and cause misalignment and crooked teeth. This is another type of misalignment that is not caused by an external factor.
Once an orthodontist is able to identify the exact type of teeth misalignment you are suffering from, they are able to choose the right treatment for you.
Treatment for Misaligned Teeth
Misalignment of teeth, whether hereditary or caused by some external factor is not permanent. There are various methods and treatments that one can undergo to align the teeth and prevent further damage to their oral health. Some of the common treatment for misaligned teeth include:
1. Metal Braces
One of the most common and oldest treatments for misaligned teeth is the use of metal braces to straighten the teeth. These are small metal brackets that are attached to the teeth with the help of dental adhesives, and an orthodontic wire is used to tighten the brackets together to put pressure on the teeth. Metal braces are known to have a good result of severely misaligned teeth.
Invisalign is also known as clear aligners. These are transparent trays that are custom-made for every patient, based on the size of the teeth structure taken by the dentist. These aligners are not attached to the teeth and can be removed by the user whenever they want. Since these aligners are clear, they do not get noticed. In order to keep these aligners transparent, the user needs to take them off during meals and while brushing. Although these aligners can be removed at will, dentists recommend that they are worn for 22 hours in a day. Also, Invisalign is not a good choice for major misalignments.
For people who have minor misalignment in just a couple of front teeth, porcelain veneers are a good option. Porcelain veneers are chip-like dental materials that are made by the dentist to attach on the surface of the teeth. Before fixing the veneers, the dentist will shave the misaligned parts of the tooth and create a proper structure.
Dental implants are a new set of teeth created by the dentist for you. If your misalignment is a result of crooked or broken teeth, you can replace the teeth with implants to have a proper set of correctly aligned teeth. The process of getting dental implants is lengthy as the patient will first need to get a titanium rod and then the tooth will be attached to the rod.
5. Ceramic Braces
Ceramic braces are just like metal braces. The only difference is that instead of a metal bracket, ceramic or clear brackets are used to make it less noticeable. Some dentists even use teeth colored wire.
Teeth misalignment is a completely treatable condition that people should get treated to avoid further complications. Get in touch with the dentists at Oliver Park Dental to find out the best option for you.