Malocclusion is the deviation of teeth from their natural alignment or path. Our teeth are aligned in an arch form on our upper and lower jawbones. But due to the reasons stated below, some of the teeth deviate from this alignment and either start to overlap other teeth or become too spaced out. This crookedness or misalignment of teeth is known as malocclusion.
Some people inherit genetic codes from their parents that affect the growth and development of teeth. For example, the condition known as hypodontia, which results in missing teeth, is caused by a rare genetic disorder. Some of the permanent teeth never erupt. Similarly, malocclusions like overbite, overcrowding, and underbite are all caused by deformation in our jaw structure. This skeletal deformation is mostly genetic. Major accidents can also result in skeletal deformation, but its instances are quite rare.
Malnutrition, especially the deficiency of calcium and phosphate, weakens our teeth, gums, and bones. These weak teeth can easily be pushed in front or back by teeth that are stronger and able to obtain nutrients from the gums. Moreover, malnutrition affects teeth development and formation. If the child is unable to obtain an adequate about of calcium, phosphate, fluoride, and other minerals from his/her diet, the teeth will not erupt or grow properly. In adults, malnutrition could lead to tooth loss as the weak teeth fall off with time.
Bad habits like thumb sucking in childhood or constant touching of the teeth can also lead to malocclusions because in childhood, the jaw structure is still growing, and teeth are also soft and sensitive, hence more prone to shifting from their natural course. Overjet is a common problem with children who sucked their thumb in infancy. People who are habitual to grinding their teeth are also more susceptible to malocclusion because you are constantly rubbing your jaws against one another.
Excess Use of Milk Bottles
Children who are fed milk through milk bottles and fall asleep with the milk bottle in their mouth are also more susceptible to malocclusions in their permanent teeth. During feeding, children should contract their jaw muscles to allow them to suck and sip milk. Milk bottles that have a wide opening and do not require children to contract their jaw muscles actually restrict the development of jawbones. When the jawbones don’t develop properly, malocclusion occurs. To bring your teeth back into their original alignment, visit us at Senestraro Family Orthodontics, where Dr. Seth Senestraro and Dr. Seth can help you find the best treatment for your malocclusion.