This is the photograph of a 15year old boy who had come to me with his grandma for the extraction of her tooth today. After I was free from that work and while this boy was asking me about the post-operative instructions, I noticed that his speech , his facial profile, and the closure of his upper and lower teeth is not okay.
Oral examination of this boy revealed that he is suffering from a severe type of malocclusion – his lower jaw (mandible) is protruded forwards with the result that he is unable to occlude in centric occlusion – in simple terms, it means that the relationship of lower teeth with the upper ones is abnormal.
Actually most of his lower teeth –front as well as on his left – lying inner to the upper teeth which is not the case in normal dentition. I asked him if he had any problem. He told that there is no problem –but hastened to add that only one or two teeth on his right side (photograph’s left side) meet . He further confided in me that for the last few years his pals have been teasing him that his teeth are too much protruded and that he is having some sort of speech problem.
Yeah, he is right —only 2-3 teeth on his right side meet when he tries to clench his teeth, rest all the teeth on his left don’t meet only.
I am sorry for this young boy’s dental status. You see there lies the importance of regular periodic check-ups . Had it been noticed years earlier, corrective action might have been taken by the attending doctor. But this is his first visit to a dentist.
Actually in such a patient it is very difficult to motivate him or his parents for going for proper orthodontic management. Naturally a question springs up ! – what would happen if he does not go for the specialized orthodontic treatment. Havoc will let loose literally if no treatment is sought for correcting this abnormal relationship of teeth. One thing –his dental function i.e masticatory efficiency is so much reduce as it requires upper and lower teeth to meet for masticatiory function. Even otherwise it is definitely a clear-cut case of trauma from occlusion – it simply means this child can land-up in multiple dental problems.
I am practising here for the last 25years and when I see such cases, I indeed get upset. Why ? – because I am pretty sure that the boy will not go for the treatment. They will have to spend for orthodontic treatment from their pocket and that’s why mostly my experience says that they never go for necessary treatment. That way situation is quite pitiable in India because mostly people ( I Idont have authentic figures when I think I can safely state that 99% people requiring orthodontic treatment can’t afford it –could be due to so many reasons!)don’t have the necessary resources to get such specialized care. And if resources are there, then in small towns and semi-urban areas, dentists with that specialization rarely are available. I think these can pinch some people but it all truth.
In these pictures you can notice from his side-profile of face that even chin is also protruded forwards and it contributes to disturbed relationship of lower and upper teeth.
Now why this boy is suffering from this problem? –that in itself can be the topic of some post.
Message of this real story is that we must get regular dental check-ups every 6months. Anybody listening? If yes,why don’t you spread this message, please.
PS: His grandma adds that the great grandma of this boy had the similar problematic jaw relationship.