Malocclusion occurs when a person has a bad bite that leads to jaw misalignment. Whether you have an overbite, underbite, or another significant issue, receiving treatment is important for overall well-being. If you want to learn more about what malocclusion is and some unique aspects of it, here are a few surprising facts to note:
1. Malocclusion can be hereditary
Unfortunately, no matter what you do, you may be predisposed to malocclusion. This is because your parent’s dental health is a major indicator of yours. If your parents suffered from bite issues, even if corrected later in life, you may also suffer from bite issues such as over or underbites, despite your best efforts to avoid them.
2. Malocclusion can affect mental health
Our teeth are a key part of our appearance and overall health. Even though it may not seem related in some cases, poor dental health can also negatively impact our mental health – not just appearance-wise, but also the inability to speak, breathe or chew properly in extreme circumstances. It’s no secret that our overall physical health can impact mental health, so it’s important to keep in mind how something as small as alignment issues can significantly impact well-being.
3. Diagnosis uses a three-class system
When it comes to diagnosing malocclusion, there are multiple classes to narrow down the severity:
- Class One is the least severe bite problem and is classified as when all teeth are crowded or have gaps aside from the molars, which are aligned well. This class is the least severe.
- Class Two is present when you suffer from an overbite that leads to the upper teeth overlapping the lower ones. Treatment options can include braces and rubber bands to realign the jaw when this happens.
- Class Three is when a person has an underbite that results in the bottom teeth protruding beyond the upper teeth and jaw. This can be caused by a difference in the size of the upper and lower jaw in which the lower is larger than the upper.
4. Your childhood habits can be the cause
While genetics play a big role in jaw alignment and dental health, it can also be up to your childhood habits. For example, if you sucked your thumb excessively or used a pacifier longer than recommended, these repetitive motions of sucking can misalign the jaw, causing bite issues down the line.
5. Treatment can vary based on age
As mentioned earlier, the best treatment options may vary depending on the class and severity of your case, but also your age. The older you get, the more stubborn your teeth are, and the harder it is to shift them for good. In some cases, surgery may be necessary as an adult to correct stubborn bite problems. Generally, however, options like braces or aligners can help correct your bite.
While malocclusion is not the most glamorous topic, there are many unique facts to note about the condition. From classification to causes and treatments, we hope these surprising facts help you understand why this condition is essential to know about!