Occlusion is the manner in which the upper and lower teeth come together when the mouth is closed. Malocclusion of the teeth is a misalignment problem that can lead to serious oral health complications. Unfortunately for those dealing with the issue, there’s no single or simple answer to the problem. Solutions often involve wearing braces for several years to undergoing complex surgery with long recovery times. But the question is, what are the causes of malocclusion? There are many causes of malocclusion; some of them can be avoided and the others aren’t. Here are 4 causes of malocclusion.
1. Genetics: Malocclusion is usually an inherited condition. This means it can be passed down from one generation to the next. If you’re genetically predisposes to malocclusion, you may have limited opportunities to prevent misalignment of the teeth from developing. That’s because your genetic makeup — or your biological connection to your parents and grandparents — indicates that you will inevitably experience some level of malocclusion.
2. Dental and Oral Health Habits: Oral habits which place frequent and consistent pressure on teeth gradually shift the teeth out of place. These habits include chewing pencils, opening bottles and using teeth for other purposes. As for children, the extensive-thumb sucking, prolonged use of a bottle for feeding and using pacifiers for more than 5or six hours per day can cause the teeth and jaws to develop awkwardly, increasing the chances of malocclusion.
3. Injuries: Significant injuries to the mouth area can lead to problems with malocclusion or the misalignment of the upper and lower sets of teeth. For example, someone who sustains a serious jaw injury in a car accident may need to be treated for malocclusion in the future. Sports injuries, particularly those taking place in highly physical sports, such as hockey, football or rugby, can also lead to malocclusion.
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury to the general mouth area, it’s important to think about how this may lead to malocclusion. This is particularly important if the person sustaining the injury is a child, as the development of their jaw and teeth must also be taken into account.
4. Tumors and growths: The emergence of a large tumor or other type of growth inside the mouth can cause the jaw and teeth to develop abnormally, increasing the chances of malocclusion, or misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. The good news is that most dentists will be able to spot these types of problems early on over the course of a routine check up.