Did you know that humans have evolved to have crooked teeth? Because we have shifted to consuming softer foods over millennia, our jaws have grown smaller, but not our teeth. As a result, there is often not enough room in the mouth for teeth, leading to crowding and crookedness.
Misaligned teeth are one of the most common problems in modern dentistry. Do you have malocclusion or know someone who does? Read on to find out what it is, and how to fix it.
What Exactly Is Malocclusion?
Malocclusion occurs when your teeth are misaligned and have a variety of problems, Some of the results of malocclusion include crooked and crowded teeth, or an underbite or overbite.
Many people have slight malocclusion simply because of the evolutionary factor of smaller jaws and bigger teeth. The degree to which your malocclusion impacts your life is dependent on a variety of characteristics that your dentist will evaluate.
Common Causes of Malocclusion
A huge factor in malocclusion has to do with early childhood years. If you sucked a pacifier for longer than recommended or even sucked your thumb, it could be the cause of your misaligned teeth.
If you still have habits as an adult that will make your teeth shift, you should tell your dentist before you try to fix misaligned teeth. Often you can find practical solutions or new habit-forming behaviors to inhibit these issues.
Can Malocclusion Cause Health Problems?
Unfortunately, with serious malocclusion problems, you are much more likely to suffer from health defects. Some of the tooth problems enhanced by crooked teeth include decay in between teeth where a brush or floss cannot reach. If decay is not caught early enough, it can lead to serious infection or even abscesses.
When you are unable to reach parts of your teeth, your gums may also suffer and become inflamed. Gum disease can have major health implications. All of these dental maladies increase your risk of major diseases like heart attacks, and you're even more likely to get diabetes.
Fixing Your Teeth: What Are Your Options?
There are many solutions for the correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws, ranging in price and longevity of the treatment. Some that you may have heard of include orthodontia, or braces and retainers, and more discreet correction tools such as Invisalign.
If you have more financial resources available, there are also ways that you can fix your teeth more quickly, although they cost much more. For instance, you can get veneers or crowns, both of which give you a beautiful smile in a shorter period of time.
It Is Your Choice What You Do With Misaligned Teeth
Even if you find that you have misaligned teeth, they can sometimes not cause any problems. However, if your dentist points out that they may cause future issues, you might want to consider getting them fixed. Ultimately, what you decide for your teeth is completely up to you.
Would you like to learn more about common problems with your teeth? Take a look around our website for more interesting facts.