Malocclusions (bad bites) not only affect the facial appearance and shape of the face but also affect oral health and chewing function. Malocclusion occurs when the teeth are misaligned, including crowded teeth, gapped teeth, overbites, and crossbites.
As for the causes of malocclusion, Tsai said that besides congenital factors, the following reasons might also lead to the issue.
- Breathing through the mouth: Some people, like those with chronic allergies, are accustomed to breathing through their mouths. This affects the development of the bone and teeth, leading to malocclusion.
- Kids’ thumb-sucking habits: Many children have the habit of sucking on pacifiers, fingers, or towels. However, during the development of their bones, these behaviors can easily cause the upper jaw to protrude and affect bone development, affecting the teeth’s alignment.
- Premature loss of baby teeth: The premature loss of baby teeth will block the space for the permanent teeth to erupt as the adjacent teeth will shift into the open space, resulting in malocclusion.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, children can be evaluated for orthodontic treatment at about age 7, when they have enough permanent teeth.
There is no age limit for adults, even those in their 60s and 70s. However, depending on the orthodontic method and treatment plan, the results and time spent may vary from case to case.
Malocclusion is not a disease, but it can cause some problems in life that require more attention.
In addition to cleaning difficulty, malocclusion can cause mouth trauma. This includes bites around the mouth, crooked teeth that abrade the inside of the mouth, and in severe cases, painful bites or jawbone soreness.