Malocclusions and airway obstructions are some of the most critical issues concerning kids’ dental health. When children have teeth misalignments, it can impact their quality of life in several different ways. In this article, we’ll outline some of the implications of malocclusions on the little ones.
1. Cavities and Dental Health Issues
When teeth are misaligned, the problem may manifest as an overbite, an underbite, or a crossbite. That means that the teeth are not in the correct position to allow for proper eating or speaking. Because of their incorrect location, they speed up tooth decay in children.
Malocclusions will usually cause some teeth to handle more pressure than others. The additional force leads to faster depletion of the enamel on some teeth. A kids dental professional will treat the cavities before considering braces.
2. Bruxism and Teeth Misalignment
Bruxism is the involuntary grinding of teeth in response to stress or as a way of dealing with pain. Some patients may clench their teeth during the day, while others will do it exclusively when sleeping. While the exact cause of bruxism is still unknown, malocclusions are amongst the most significant factors.
When the teeth are not in alignment, the discomfort may compel the patient to clench and grind. Over time, the enamel undergoes erosion through friction. As a result, the little one’s teeth and dental health become vulnerable to cavities and periodontal disease.
3. Sleep Disorders and Airway Obstructions
Sleep disorders are prevalent among children. They are a concern for kids dental professionals, as they can lead to serious health complications. Without treatment, sleep disorders can cause abnormal physical development, neurocognitive challenges, and behavioral disorders.
The misalignment of teeth can deform the nasal pathway causing problems with eating and breathing. A professional may conduct dental exams to determine the extent of the airway obstructions. Depending on the severity of the condition, a dentist may propose dental appliances to be fitted in an in-office surgical procedure.
4. Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder affects the bone between the lower jaw and the skull. It usually occurs when children over-exert the bone when chewing or speaking. The culprit is often the misalignment of the jaw and teeth that impact the function of the surrounding muscles.
However, the problems may be due to trauma of the joint after an accident or even teeth grinding. An evaluation and treatment are necessary before acquiring clear braces.
5. Social Implications of Malocclusions
Teeth and jaw misalignments can have a negative social impact on your kids’ dental health. Dental aesthetics is one of the factors that lead parents to get braces for their children. Malocclusions can make children of all ages self-conscious.
If dental aesthetics are a concern, an orthodontist will propose clear braces which are inconspicuous. Modern devices are from materials like ceramic that are aesthetically pleasing and affordable.
If your child has malocclusions or symptoms of related conditions, it is best to see a dentist as soon as possible. Do not be embarrassed or scared, as dental problems are common in children, with 25 to 50 percent of kids requiring orthodontics. Untreated kids dental health problems can cause a wide range of physical and psychological complications. Dental exams can help address those issues before they become too complicated to solve.