Mal - occlusion literally means "bad
bite." A bad bite can be caused by several factors:
- Heredity - Both parents may have "perfect" teeth,
but if a child inherits a small jaw from one parent and
large teeth from the other, the result most likely will
be crowding of the teeth requiring Orthodontics.
- Missing Teeth - If missing permanent teeth are not replaced
with implants, a bridge,
or a partial denture,
the adjacent teeth can "tip" into the empty space
and the opposing teeth can "super-erupt." Primary
(baby) teeth that are prematurely lost due to decay or injury
sometimes necessitate the use of a spacer to keep the surrounding
teeth growing straight until the permanent tooth erupts
to replace the missing tooth.
- Grinding teeth (bruxism) -
Severe cases of bruxism can change the occlusion.
Left untreated, a malocclusion not only affects
the patient's appearance, it can also lead to TMJ problems
and an increased risk of decay
and gum disease.
each individual case to determine the best course of action
to prevent or cure the malocclusion. Visit our Orthodontics
page to learn more about how early detection of malocclusions
in children and the use of arch expanders can reduce and sometimes
eliminate the need for braces!