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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What is malocclusion?

Malocclusion is a problem in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together in biting or chewing. Malocclusion is often referred to as having "crooked teeth" or a "poor bite." It may affect a person's appearance, speech, and/or ability to eat.



Causes


Malocclusions are most often inherited, but may be acquired. Inherited conditions include too many teeth, little space between teeth, irregular mouth and jaw size and shape, and unusual shape of the jaws and face, such as a cleft palate. It may be acquired from habits like finger or thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, premature loss of teeth from an accident or dental disease, and medical conditions such as enlarged tonsils and adenoids that lead to mouth breathing.




Symptoms


  • Malocclusion may be symptomless or may produce pain from increased stress on the oral structures.
  • Crooked or protruding teeth.
  • Problem with eating and speaking.


Treatment


During childhood and early teen years, orthodontists use early growth modification techniques to reform the jaws. Orthodontists may remove selected teeth and may use fixed or removable appliances to create a proper bite.



In adults, it can be treated by using braces which can help in straighten the teeth to camouflage a jaw problem, but any restructuring of the jawbone must be done with surgery, usually in combination with orthodontic treatment.



Prevention


Generally malocclusion is not preventable. But it can be decreased by controlling habits like thumbsucking. Regular dental check-ups should be done.



Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)




Contact http://www.toothtourism.com today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

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