Hello! I’m Michael Bjornbak, DDS, of Sherman Oaks Dental in Sherman Oaks. Thanks for visiting my dental blog. The topic of today’s post is malocclusion – literally – “bad bite”.
Edward Angle, a pioneer in modern orthodontics invented the term malocclusion. Malocclusion is fairly common in the population as a whole but, fortunately, in most cases the misalignment is so slight that it causes no problems.
When you combine multiple teeth on two arches and a jaw joint with a considerable range of motion, it is easy to see how these elements can fail to align properly. In fact, it is a wonder that they work correctly for most people – allowing them to talk, eat, and breathe without giving it a second thought.
There are many causes of malocclusion – some originating with the teeth and some originating with the jaw. Misshapen teeth, extracted teeth, impacted teeth, crowded teeth, and widely spaced teeth can influence the bite. Injury to the jaw can also cause malocclusion as well as improperly fitting restorations and other dental appliances.
Children with a normal bite can develop bite issues with prolonged pacifier use, thumb sucking or bottle drinking. In rarer cases, oral tumors can move a bite out of alignment.
The treatment for malocclusion depends on the cause. Orthodontics can move teeth into alignment to correct bite problems. Overcrowding often requires extraction of one or more teeth. Misshapen teeth that affect the bite can often be corrected with crowns or dental bonding.
If the jawbone is significantly misshapen or misaligned, maxillofacial surgery may be needed. Jaw surgery is a serious undertaking with significant risks and a long, painful recovery. While the jaw heals, it is secured with wires and screws. Ouch!
If your jaw hurts or you observe unusual wear to your teeth, it is essential that you are examined by a professional. Call 818-465-9704 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Bjornbak.
Our compassionate dental team has been serving patients at our comfortable Sherman Oaks office since 1987. We can give you more details about malocclusion, Invisalign invisible braces, teeth whitening, dental implants, or dentures.
Dr. Bjornbak also advises Sherman Oaks parents about important issues such as tooth development, thumb-sucking, water fluoridation, dental sealants, oral sports protection, and orthodontia. If you suspect that your child has any degree of malocclusion, schedule an exam ASAP. Untreated bite problems in <~URVChildren> can inhibit proper nutrition, breathing, tooth development, and speech development.
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