You may be considering the consequences of acting (or not acting) on your oral health. Some Canadians think that if they leave their dental alignment alone, they’ll get used to it. What many people don’t know is that leaving a bad bite untreated leads to bigger issues. Here are some things you should know about your teeth, and how orthodontic treatment can help prevent serious dental issues.
What is Malocclusion?
- Malocclusion is used to describe different types of misaligned bites.
- Possible problems present in malocclusion include crowded teeth, crossbite, overbite, under-bite, or open bite.
- Orthodontists will use different classifications of malocclusion to differentiate between these potential issues as they all need to be treated differently.
What Causes Malocclusion?
Sometimes your misaligned bite can be a consequence of a bad habit. In children, thumb-sucking can actually cause a quite severe Class II Malocclusion (an overbite). With adults, overbites can be caused by the stress-induced habit of thrusting the teeth forward or grinding their teeth at night.
When it comes to dental care, prevention is often your best option. That’s why many dentists and orthodontists suggest using a mouthguard at night. These custom, fitted guards help to prevent you from causing or escalating a poor bite. But if you already have a misaligned bite, then corrective orthodontic treatment is likely necessary.
If left untreated malocclusion can eventually lead to much more inconvenient dental complications. Jaw problems caused by a misaligned bite can mean suffering temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), chronic headaches, and back/neck pain. The contact of misaligned teeth can escalate tooth sensitivity and wear, create tooth movement, or even cause tooth loss. Overbites may eventually lead to the loss of the top front teeth, unless corrected.