Straight Talk On Malocclusions

When you have a malocclusion, it means your teeth, lips and/or jaws don’t line up the way they should. As a result, your teeth may be crooked, your bite may not work correctly and your jaws may look unbalanced. There are two general causes of malocclusion or facial disharmonies.

Many orthodontic problems are inherited. These include crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra teeth and missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.

Other malocclusions are acquired, meaning they develop over time. They can be caused by thumb or finger-sucking, lip habits, mouth breathing, abnormal swallowing, dental neglect resulting in loss of teeth, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, early or late loss of baby (primary) teeth, loss of permanent teeth, accidents, poor nutrition, or some medical problems.

Frequently, an inherited malocclusion is complicated by an acquired problem. Quite often, the cause is unknown, but even then, orthodontists are usually able to treat most of these conditions successfully.

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