Skeletal malocclusion is caused by the distortion of the proper mandibular and/or maxillary
growth during fetal development. Patients with skeletal malocclusion may suffer from dental
deformities, bruxism, teeth crowding, trismus, mastication difficulties, breathing obstruction
and digestion disturbance if the problem is left untreated.
Malocclusion often manifests as migraine-like headache, clicking of jaw joints and
symptoms of the neck and shoulder region. Causes of malocclusion include too soft food,
dental malocclusion and individual abnormal biting habits (grinding etc).
Disorders connected with the function of the masticatory system are very common. As much
as a half of the population experience symptoms at some stage of life. Functional disorders
affect all age groups, in most cases women.
Most people with mild malocclusion will not require any treatment. However, your dentist
may refer you to an orthodontist if your malocclusion is severe. Depending on your type of
malocclusion, your orthodontist may recommend various treatments. These can include :
- braces to correct the position of the teeth
- removal of teeth to correct overcrowding
- reshaping, bonding, or capping of teeth
- surgery to reshape or shorten the jaw
- wires or plates to stabilize the jaw bone
Treatment for the disorder may also result in some complications. These include :
- tooth decay
- pain or discomfort
- irritation of the mouth from the use of appliances, such as braces
- difficulty chewing or speaking during treatment
Preventing the disorder can be difficult because most cases of malocclusion are hereditary.
Parents of young children should limit pacifier and bottle use to help reduce changes in the
development of the jaw. Early detection of malocclusion may help cut down on the length
(and severity) of the treatment needed to correct the problem.
The treatment of malocclusion of teeth in children and adults typically results in correction of
the problem. Early treatment in childhood will reduce the duration of treatment, and also
make it less expensive.