What is dental malocclusion?

The patient has a difference in size between jaws or jaw and tooth. When a person suffers from dental malocclusion, the upper teeth do not fit the bite properly with the lower ones.

There are three types of malocclusions:

  • Transverse malocclusions: consists of an excessive narrowing of the upper jaw, which causes a crossbite on one or both sides.
  • Vertical malocclusions: it is identified by the absence of contact between the upper and lower incisors or, in the opposite case, an excessive overlapping of these.
  • Sagittal malocclusions: They are classified according to the relationships of the permanent molars in an anteroposterior direction. The lower molar is more advanced than the upper molar, with an inverted bite of the incisors. A prominent chin profile characterizes it.

Prognosis of the disease

Dental malocclusion must be diagnosed and treated early. Childhood is the ideal time to treat or prevent malocclusions since they can be corrected quickly. If you don’t act, they can appear or worsen.

The patient may require more complicated interventions in the future. Different oral functions can also occur, such as phonation, breathing, chewing, etc.

Dental malocclusions can cause ringing in the ears, dizziness, sinus pain, and headaches.

Symptoms of dental malocclusion

 The main symptoms it causes are crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth. This causes problems with eating and speaking. We can also identify other less obvious signs such as:

  • Discomfort when chewing food.
  • Usual pain in the facial muscles or jaw.
  • Frequent cheek biting.

Medical tests for dental malocclusion

A patient who has symptoms of dental malocclusion should see a specialist for a diagnosis. This diagnosis will consist of:

  • Complete review of clinical history.
  • Clinical examination of the patient: an examination of the oral cavity and revision of the structures.
  • Radiographic examination (if necessary).

What are the causes of dental malocclusion?

The appearance of dental malocclusion can be due to different causes. The main ones are:

  • hereditary factors.
  • Loss of teeth.
  • Breathe through the mouth.
  • Suck your finger.
  • Children in whom the milk teeth take up little space, and when the permanent teeth grow, they take up more space than there is.

Can it be prevented?

It is important to avoid bad habits such as those mentioned above (excessive use of a pacifier or bottle, breathing through the mouth, or sucking a thumb) to prevent malocclusion.

The following factors should also be taken into account:

  • Food: when a child chews hard foods, replacing the soft diet with a more solid one is important.
  • Dental caries and fractures: good oral hygiene habits, such as using a proper toothbrush or using fluoride, will allow the child to have healthy tissues and will be able to maintain them in the future.
  • Maintain the space and length of the arch: If one or several teeth are lost unnaturally, it is important to maintain the distance using space maintainers.
  • Bruxism: Monitor and reverse the habit of clenching or grinding your teeth.

Treatments for dental malocclusion

The treatment for dental malocclusion consists of using fixed or removable appliances to correct the alignment of the teeth and the position of the jaw.

It may also be necessary to extract some milk teeth to make room for those that still have to grow in children and adolescents. Childhood malocclusion is easier to correct than adult malocclusion because bone growth is still developmental. 

The teeth are straightened with the devices above, and the jaw is moved; on the other hand, in adulthood, the teeth can be aligned through orthodontics.