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26 November 2022
Misaligned Teeth – Causes and Treatment Options
The alignment of teeth is an important factor in the functioning of the teeth and overall dental health. Misaligned teeth cause serious dental complications if left untreated. Hence, one is always advised to consult a doctor to get the required treatment.
This misalignment of teeth is called malocclusion of teeth. This condition is also referred to as crooked teeth, crowded teeth, crossbite, etc.
What is Misaligned Teeth or Malocclusion?
When the alignment of the teeth is not proper resulting in the growth of one tooth above another and also unwanted gaps is called misaligned teeth. Perfectly aligned teeth should have the upper jaw slightly overlap the lower jaw. This enables the ridges of the upper molars to fit into the grooves of the lower jaw.
Any kind of misalignment of any degree is called malocclusion and is caused by various reasons. Irrespective of the cause of the misalignment, this can be treated. The treatment is generally done for functional as well as cosmetic reasons.
What causes the misalignment?
There are many reasons for malocclusion or misalignment of teeth including genetics. There are high chances of having this passed on to generations. Apart from this, simple habits during early childhood can cause
So, here are a few causes of the misalignment of teeth.
- Habits like sucking on your thumb or pacifier in early childhood can cause crooked teeth or misalignment.
- Our jaw size has evolved over civilizations and has reduced considerably owing to the modern-day diet of soft and processed food. The decreased jaw size has resulted in crooked teeth.
- Mouth breathing: This is one of the many myofunctional habits that result in crooked teeth.
- Poor Dental Care: In some cases, crooked teeth are a result of untreated cavities and gum infections.
Treatment for Misaligned Teeth
If an individual has developed misaligned teeth, it does not always mean they will have them for the rest of their life. This can be treated and fixed by a professional orthodontist.
Here are some of the common treatments given to fix misaligned teeth.
- Braces: This is the most commonly done dental treatment to fix crooked teeth. Metal braces are fixed on the teeth with flexible wire, bands, and brackets. This has been the treatment for many years now. This is a great option when the degree of misalignment is very high. The process of fixing the braces can be painful but subsides later.
- Ceramic Braces: These are quite similar to metal braces. The only difference is that they are not as visible as metal ones. They are either clear or tooth-colored.
- Invisalign: These are plastic clear aligners. They are customized for everyone based on their fit. It is relatively a new invention and which is not painful, unlike the other options.
- Teeth Straightening Surgery: This dental procedure is suggested if the misalignment has resulted in any kind of speech disability or affected chewing ability. This takes lesser time compared to braces. This surgery corrects the bone and gums which realigns the entire jaw or a part of the jaw.
Though crooked teeth or misaligned teeth or the treatments done to fix them are common, the root cause of such dental complications is improper dental care and simple habits during early childhood. Thus it is always advised to have a hygienic dental care routine and visit the dentist at least once every year.