A malocclusion is the abnormal alignment of teeth, jaw and/or a bad bite. It can develop when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together normally. This misalignment of teeth and jaw can lead to oral health problems if not treated. Severely misaligned teeth and jaws can cause snoring, sleep apnea, and other breathing problems.
Most cases of malocclusion are hereditary. However, certain habits that alter the alignment between the teeth and jaw can also contribute to malocclusion. Some causes include: frequent use of a pacifier, prolonged bottle feeding, thumb sucking, oral injuries, crowded teeth, poor dental hygiene, airway obstruction, enlarged adenoids and a cleft palate.
Symptoms of malocclusion can include:
- misalignment of the teeth
- discomfort when eating
- speech impediment
- biting of the tongue or cheek and mouth breathing.
Orthodontics is recommended when there is a need to enhance the orofacial appearance. Often treatment for malocclusion includes braces. Our Tehachapi dentist, Dr. Sanchez will recommend a treatment based on the severity of your bite, the degree of dental misalignment and your desired results.