Diagnosing Malocclusion

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Many patients come to Southwood Dental Studio complaining of mouth pain, jaw pain, headaches, dizziness, grinding their teeth, vertigo, and other oral health related concerns. They seek relief from these issues, and they aren’t sure if they need a dentist or an orthodontist. However, your dentist should be your first point of reference. A dentist monitors all oral health concerns and makes referrals to other dental specialists, including orthodontists and endodontists, on occasion. Some patients with malocclusions can be treated right here in our office.

The Definition of Malocclusion

In a malocclusion, the teeth of the upper jaw and the lower jaw do not fit together correctly. There is crowding or misalignment of the jawbones or a patient could have both issues.

The Causes of Malocclusion

I was reading recently about how we are treating the Canadian population. According to one report, “There are several causes for malocclusion, including hereditary, tooth overcrowding, lost teeth, abnormal bite patterns, ill-fitting dental fillings, cleft lip and palate, tumour of mouth and jaw, and impacted teeth.” While we have socialized healthcare here in London, Ontario, we don’t provide dental or orthodontic care except through the private sector, which means that you must be creative about obtaining these services for your kids.

Looking At Your Situation

As you reflect on how much you love your family this Valentine’s Day, please remember that malocclusions are common in adults and children. You or your child could have hereditary tendencies that created an improper bite. You could have experienced the other problems listed above over time. All these factors contribute to an imperfect mouth and to the mechanical effects of misaligned jaws. Your teeth can break down due to elimination of enamel. You can also face ongoing or intermittent pain from irregular biting and chewing patterns.

I can help London families by diagnosing malocclusions and other oral health problems. I can refer you or your child to a nearby orthodontist. Each patient is different. Consult us today for more information!

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