Have you just been diagnosed with malocclusion and have no idea what that means? Malocclusion simply refers to the incorrect way your teeth are aligned respective to each other. It may sound like a horrific diagnosis by name alone, but malocclusion is just a fancy way of saying underbite, overbite or a misalignment.
Malocclusion is categorised in Neutrocclusion (crooked teeth), Distoclusion (overbite), Mesioclusion (underbite). Read on to learn more about how these issues are treated.
Neutrocclusion is the mildest form of malocclusion, in which the molars are well aligned, but the other teeth have issues. This means your teeth are improperly spaced, crowded, over each other or under one another, and generally not following the proper archway of a regular bite. Most neutrocclusion cases are fixable via dental braces.
Distocclusion & Mesiocclusion!
Distocclusion is also called overjet. Your dentist may even refer it as retrognathism, but most will call it an overbite. Just as the name suggests, this means that your upper teeth are in front of your lower teeth. A severe overbite can lead to a retracted chin and a distinct profile showing the upper lip more in front than the lower.
In layman's terms, a mesiocclusion is an underbite, and it's when your lower teeth are in front of your upper teeth, causing a severe protruding chin and your lower lip being more forward than your upper lip. Underbites are usually hereditary.
These types of malocclusions are preferably treated before adulthood. Fixing a child's underbite takes a year or two and employs the use of an upper jaw expander, which is attached to the roof of the mouth and extends the upper jaw, or a pull face mask which pulls back the lower jaw. A chin cap can also be used, which inhibits the growth of the lower jaw.
In both the cases of adult distocclusion and messioclusion treatment depends on whether the underbite/overbite is caused by the teeth being improperly aligned, or by the jaw. If only the teeth are the cause, braces might fix the issue altogether. If the problem lies with the jaw, then surgery is inevitable.
Narrow arches and what that means for your Malocclusion treatment
If your malocclusion is combined with a narrow arch, where the roof of your mouth looks more like a pointed arch than a dome-like shape, you might require a mandibular lingual appliance. Mandibular lingual appliances reshape the roof of your mouth and the arch of your teeth, and combined with braces they will give you a smile as close to normal as possible.
Treatment of malocclusion can range between six months and two years depending on its severity. You may need to have a few teeth removed to be able to shift your teeth into proper position, especially if your teeth are crowded. The wisdom teeth are usually the first to be extracted if the need arises. In cases of overbite and underbite, if the jaw is severely displaced your family dentist will also add rubber bands, coils and springs to your braces to shift your jawline into place.Share
12 May 2015
As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.