Occlusion of the dentition is a type of closure of teeth, their ratio at the time of direct contact. This includes both the complete absence of any anomalies and some deviations from the norm. There are characteristic symptoms that can accurately diagnose the presence of malocclusion. When in doubt, dentists can use various additional diagnostic methods along with a visual examination.
Treatment depends on the severity of the pathological process and the age of the patient. In mild cases, aligners, and special gymnastics will help. In advanced situations, surgical intervention is possible.
What is occlusion
This is the maximum closure between the cutting edges or surfaces of the teeth intended for chewing food, which occurs at the same moment with a uniform contraction of muscle tissue. It is physiological (that is, normal) when the dental units are in close contact without any deviations of the antagonists when the surfaces of the canines, molars, and incisors come into contact, and incorrect if various developmental anomalies and other defects are observed. In the second case, we can talk about the distal, mesial position of the elements, dystopia, and other problems.
Causes of the anomaly
Factors that most often contribute to the appearance of such violations:
- Hereditary predisposition. Usually, malocclusion is passed down from the father or mother. In this situation, no preventive measures will show an effect, and a solution will have to be sought after the natural loss of milk units and the appearance of indigenous ones.
- Infections that the expectant mother suffered at different gestational dates. It is important to regularly undergo examinations during pregnancy and, if pathological changes are detected, immediately resort to comprehensive high-quality treatment. Altered occlusion is also possible as a result of birth trauma.
- Bad habits of a child in infancy (sucking fingers).
- Prolonged breastfeeding.
- Breathing through the mouth due to diseases of the nasopharynx.
- The absence of molars (one or more) due to the death of their rudiments. Most often this is due to caries of milk units at the most advanced stages and some pathological processes in the body.
- The problem can be either permanent or temporary. In most cases, it is diagnosed in adolescents. The sooner treatment is started, the faster and easier it will be. When the patient reaches the age of 20 at an older age, the correction is quite difficult due to the final formation of all tissues of the oral cavity.
How to recognize pathology
Typical symptoms of occlusion of the lower or upper jaw:
- Inability to close both lips when the mouth is relaxed. To achieve this, significant efforts are required. As a result, you have to walk with parted lips.
- Unnatural face shape. The chin appears very small and rarely comes forward. Sometimes it deviates slightly to the side. Because of this, it seems to others that a person is constantly angry or upset. And he just can’t smile because of his physical features.
- Macroglossia. This is a disease, the main symptom of which is too large a tongue. The organ does not fit in the oral cavity, is prone to falling out, presses on the dentition, and prevents its proper growth and development.
- Pathologies of the central nervous system. This includes epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and neurasthenic syndrome.
- Inflammatory processes of the temporomandibular joint and lesions of the masticatory muscles.
- Crowding of teeth. The units overlap each other or the interdental spaces are too large.
- Specialists usually diagnose occlusion without much difficulty even with a simple visual examination. However, in some cases, additional research is required, such as:
- Dental test. The patient tilts his head back and opens his mouth. The lower dentition is fixed by the doctor motionless, then the person must swallow saliva several times. The jaws begin to move, and the dentist evaluates how correctly this is happening.
- Anatomical examination. To do this, the specialist uses special devices. This is how the proportionality of the ratio of parts of the face along the horizontal and vertical axes is assessed.
- X-ray examination. With the help of a snapshot, you can see and check if there are unerupted dental units.
Treatment of pathology in dentistry
There are several effective methods of therapy, the most popular of which include:
- Physiotherapy. Suitable for the lightest cases. A person must perform special exercises that allow her to change the location of the jaws for the better by relieving tension in certain areas.
- Wearing a bracket system. In this way, even serious bite defects can be cured. In modern dentistry, there are many options for such designs, including those with maximum aesthetics, which are not visible to others and do not interfere with diction.
- Making molds. The patient bites on the wax blank. After that, the doctor can accurately determine whether there are deviations from the norm in occlusion.
- Use of aligners. Outwardly, they are transparent caps, made according to the individual casts of a particular person. Help at an early age when the problem is not serious.
- Records. The best option in terms of price and quality for children under 12 years old.
- Operational intervention. This is the most radical way to correct defective occlusion. Doctors use this technique when all the others have not given any positive results. The surgeon’s help is indicated for congenital maxillary developmental anomalies, frontal open bite, bone tumors, improper closure of rows when the lower jaw is shifted back, the chin looks miniature, and the large upper one protrudes forward. The operation is contraindicated in case of progressive tuberculosis, poor blood clotting, and inflammation in the oral cavity. The procedure is performed only under general anesthesia. After all the manipulations, the patient undergoes a long and difficult rehabilitation.
Types of occlusion of teeth in dentistry and their characteristics
As mentioned above, the occlusal system can be normal (or physiological) and abnormal. In the first case, the entire dentition functions correctly, the load on the dental units and alveolar processes are evenly distributed, the muscle tissues of the facial region develop by the norm, and the person does not experience any psychological or physical discomfort.
If we are talking about violations, this leads to excessive tension in the muscles of the face, pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, increased abrasion of teeth, and other problems. Because of this, the appearance becomes unusual, which means that self-esteem falls.
This is a comparison of the dentition in a particular position, familiar to a particular person. Based on the nature of the closure of the jaws in this state, occlusion is divided into the types discussed below. These are natural varieties that are found in most people of various age categories and gender. Such a bite does not have any effect on the appearance and quality of life.
This is the closing of the jaws in the maximum possible number of points. The facial muscles move evenly. Main manifestations:
- combination of almost all antagonist units on the upper and lower jaws;
- the connection of the incisors from below with the palatine tubercles located above;
- the middle line, passing in one imaginary vertical plane from front to back and dividing the rows into left and right parts;
- almost every tooth merges with the opposite.
Anterior occlusion – what is this phenomenon
With this type of closure of the dental surfaces and their cutting edges, the mandibular region moves slightly or significantly forward. In this case, the bite can be correct (then the midline of the face is similar to that of the first incisors). In this case, only an experienced orthodontist can determine the presence of violations.
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This variety is very similar to the one discussed above. However, there is a difference, which lies in the location of the head of the jawbone. The anterior type is closer to the articular tubercles and is slightly pushed forward.
Lateral occlusion – what is it (signs of right and left)
It is observed when the chin area deviates to the right or left. The head of the bone acquires mobility but remains at the base of the connection (joint). At the same time, on the other hand, it moves up.
With a backbite, the row located below is shifted. It is no longer centrally located, and the articular heads are shifted upward. This affects the temporal muscle tissues located behind. The muscles are constantly tense, and the functioning of the lower jaw is more or less impaired. It can no longer move sideways.
Thus, the contact of the elements during sliding movements is determined. In other words, this is the relationship of teeth, chewing muscles, and the temporomandibular joint during the functioning of the dentoalveolar system.
What happens if occlusion is not treated
Some mistakenly believe that the problem can be ignored. As a rule, this can be heard from patients with minor deviations that do not affect their quality of life. However, if you refuse therapy, there is a risk of facing such unpleasant consequences as:
- Destruction and loss of dental units at a young age;
- The inflammatory process in the temporomandibular joint;
- Speech defects;
- Periodontitis is a chronic form;
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (due to poor-quality chewing of food);
Thus, if a pathology is detected, it is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as possible and prescribe a quality treatment. By eliminating the problem, you can not only improve your well-being but also change outwardly.
Correction of occlusion in children
This phenomenon is not only aesthetic in childhood. In the absence of timely medical intervention in the future, an adult may experience various disorders:
- Asymmetrical facial features and, as a result, the appearance of early signs of aging;
- Chronic pain syndrome in the neck;
- Persistent headache, migraine;
- Clicking sounds of the joint when moving the lower jaw;
- Increased sensitivity of dental units;
- Chips and cracks in enamel;
- The likelihood of early loss of both milk and molars;
- Erasure of crowns in a very short time.
Let’s look at the main ways to deal with the problem in the smallest patients.
Special gymnastics allows you to strengthen the muscle tissues that help the jaws move normally. In the process of gymnastic movements, a small person learns to breathe through the nose and stops doing it only through the oral cavity. The most important thing is regularity. In some cases, just a few weeks is enough, for example, for the child to stop sucking his fingers.
Such designs are effective in the treatment of patients under 12 years of age. Plates on hooks made of metal are fixed on the teeth and prevent their displacement. They will have to be worn for at least a year.
The removable orthodontic product does not cause any discomfort when worn. However, it is used for minor occlusal defects, in severe cases, the effectiveness is reduced to zero. Aligners should be worn regularly, without missing a single day. If the patient forgets to do this, the therapy will not show any result.
The technique is characterized by maximum efficiency, but the system causes some discomfort. During the first few weeks after installation, an unpleasant adaptation takes place, which is associated with a forced effect on the teeth. Braces are placed on persons from 12 years of age. Such treatment requires regular quality oral care.
It is far from always possible to correct the bite with the help of an orthodontist, and even more so with the use of gymnastic exercises. In the most severe cases, you can not do without surgery, followed by the installation of a bracket system. The technique is applied to adult patients with fully formed molars.
Prevention of pathology
Of course, there is a hereditary factor in which no preventive measures will help. However, in other situations, you can avoid the problem at a very early age:
- Timely stop breastfeeding;
- Do not use bottles for formula feeding and drinking from a pacifier for a long time;
- Timely transfer of the child to solid food to adapt the masticatory muscles and unhindered formation of the maxillofacial apparatus;
- Regular moderate physical activity that affects posture;
- Proper balanced nutrition, the intake of a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals;
- Periodic examinations of the dentist at least once every six months for the timely detection of various developmental pathologies.
Occlusion is a bite that predetermines the nature of the position of the teeth when the upper and lower jaws are closed in the oral cavity. At the same time, this term also includes dynamic components, they help to characterize and evaluate the functioning of the muscles of the face and the temporomandibular joint.
Physiological occlusion is important for the error-free operation of the entire dentition. It allows you to evenly load the units and sections of the bone on both jaws, where the teeth are located, prevents excessive pressure on the periodontium, and is responsible for the uninterrupted activity of all muscle fibers. With its defects, which are diagnosed in the absence of dental units, periodontal diseases and other pathological effects of the dentition, not only the aesthetic component suffers. They often provoke increased tooth wear, inflammation of the joints, excessive tension and muscle tone, and problems with the functioning of the digestive system. It is for this reason that incorrect occlusion of any severity requires mandatory medical intervention and high-quality timely therapy.