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Many children start developing malocclusion at an early age but don’t even know it. This often painful condition can take many forms but few parents know what to look for as their children start to grow. Worse yet, many parents may have malocclusion without even realizing it.
Here’s what you should know about malocclusion.
Malocclusion is defined as any misalignment of the jaw. This causes the teeth to fit together in an irregular manner. This can cause problems pertaining to your bite, gums, speech development, and jaw health.
Malocclusion exists in the form of an overbite, an underbite, a crossbite, or an open bite. While each issue comes with its own set of problems, all can be debilitating if not dealt with early on. You can identify malocclusion by looking for the aforementioned symptoms or visiting an orthodontist for X-rays. Some orthodontists will prefer to use a teeth impression, too. This hands-on approach makes a mold of your teeth so the orthodontist can track physical misalignments.
Unfortunately, there’s no single thing that can cause malocclusion. More often than not, misaligned jaws form because of genetic factors; if malocclusion runs in your family, you’re more likely to suffer from the condition. However, some actions during childhood can also impact the development of malocclusion. For example, excessive or extended thumb-sucking can damage the palate and lead to jaw issues down the line. In other cases, overcrowded teeth can simply cause a misaligned bite. While there’s no single cause of malocclusion, there are a couple of options to fix the issue.
More often than not, a simple case of malocclusion can be fixed with a mouth appliance, like Invisalign. Over time, this appliance straightens your teeth and will gradually transition your jaw into a healthier spot. You’ll never need to worry about biting your cheeks again. Just keep in mind that most orthodontic treatments take between 18 months and two years to get the desired results.
For more serious cases, jaw surgery may be recommended by your orthodontist. The best way to gauge whether you need surgery is by going in for a consultation today.
Do you suffer from malocclusion? Rely on Alborzi Orthodontics to help you get the beautiful smile you deserve.
Dr. Alexa Alborzi is a certified orthodontic specialist providing comprehensive orthodontic care for the children, teens, and adults of San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. Dr. Alborzi earned her BA. degree in Biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley was trained at University of California San Francisco, School of Dentistry. Dr. Alborzi has served as a respected professor at the University of San Francisco, School of Dentistry for over fourteen years. Additionally, Dr. Alborzi was voted by her community in 2019 as the Bay Area Best of the Best.