MISALIGNED TEETH; CAUSES, EFFECTS AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
I don’t know if this goes for you too but during high school, people who had braces were considered cool. We looked at them with this sense of fascination for the sophisticated wires in their mouths. It is only now that I realize how we often delusionally admire or even envy things whose scope we do not fully appreciate. The people who wore braces had them for a number of reasons and fashion is nowhere at the top of the list. The predominant reason was that they were trying to have their misaligned teeth fixed.
What are misaligned teeth?
Misaligned teeth are teeth which are out of their proper or desirable position in the mouth.
Effects of misaligned teeth
When teeth are not in their desirable position, there are far reaching effects on the person’s way of life as a result. These include;
- There can be a change in one’s speech where they develop a lisp. This is because proper positions of the teeth play are role in pronunciation of some sounds.
- Chewing can become problematic. Misaligned teeth can make cutting, tearing and grinding food difficult or even painful which takes the joy out of eating.
- Misaligned teeth have many crooks and crannies which may be difficult to clean efficiently. This can result in tooth decay and subsequent gum disease.
- Misaligned teeth also have increased chances to be injured, especially the incisors. This is because they may not be well supported by the jaw.
- There can also be compromised breathing due to the defects in the jaw, tongue and cheeks positioning.
- One of the most severe effects is on the psychological wellbeing of a person. Misaligned teeth are not necessarily aesthetically pleasing and henceforth the self-esteem of someone may plunge.
Causes of misaligned teeth
The cause of misaligned teeth is variable in its constitution. Many factors both subtle and not can play a role in moving the teeth from their normal or desirable position. These factors can act on the teeth, the jaw, the cheek or even the tongue. Some habits can also influence how the teeth grow and thus misalign.
- Genes influence how we develop from an embryo to a baby and then to an adult. As part of their niche, they also influence how teeth are positioned. This is determined by how the cheeks, the jaws and the tongue develop. At first glance, you may miss the correlation between all these and the teeth alignment, however it is imperative to take note of the power of consistent small things. If any of these structures is not well formed, it may affect how the teeth are positioned or how they fit in the mouth.
- Tooth loss can also cause misalignment of teeth. This can be both in adults and in case there’s early loss of the milk teeth. The teeth neighboring the gap may grow into it and this changes the usual positioning of the teeth. Teeth can be lost to injury, to bone diseases or to gum disease. Some are knocked out during the initiation ceremonies in some cultures.
- Habits play a role in the development of misaligned teeth. In babies and toddlers, thumb sucking and excessive use of pacifier or bottles can cause displacement of the front teeth. In adults, mouth breathing, teeth grinding and other similar habits can eventually result in displacement of the teeth.
- Misalignment or malformation a jaw can result in poor correlated teeth especially in case a jaw is too small which results in crowding of teeth.
- Improperly done dental restorations for example crowns and other prostheses can result in the misalignment of teeth long term.
These are just a drop in the ocean of the complexities that are the causes for misaligned teeth. Teeth may be too many or too few on the jaw which changes the orientation of the teeth.
Misaligned teeth can either repair themselves as one ages or they may need some extra help. The specialty of dentistry that deals with these and other related conditions is orthodontics.
The treatment plan most likely to be suggested by the dentist is braces. There are a variety of braces that are chosen for their function, cost and appearance. Fixed braces are the best and are very effective. There are other options which may be more aesthetically pleasing as compared to the fixed metallic braces. These are however not as efficient and are much costlier. Lingual braces and invisible aligners are some of the options.
The treatment for misaligned teeth takes a period of 2 to 3 years. One year or more is spent wearing the braces, to coerce the teeth to grow in a certain direction and the rest of the time, retainers are worn to prevent the teeth from reverting to their former position. The visits to the dentist are usually three months to check the progress of the treatment. It is important to take care of the braces and your oral hygiene in order for the treatment to work.
Treatment for misaligned teeth is available at Ezza Dental Care. Visit us today for a free consultation and our dentist will help you come up with a customized treatment plan.