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General Information

2. What causes orthodontic problems (malocclusions)? 

Smile PhotoMost orthodontic problems (malocclusions) are inherited from birth, but some are acquired. Inherited problems include crowding of teeth, too much space between teeth, extra, missing, or impacted teeth, and a wide variety of other irregularities of the jaws, teeth, and face. Acquired malocclusions include those problems caused by thumb or finger sucking, trauma (accidents), periodontal (bone and gum) disease, premature loss of primary (baby) or permanent teeth, and airway obstruction by inflamed tonsils and adenoids. Whether inherited or acquired, many of these problems affect not only the alignment of the teeth, but also can affect facial development, profile, and appearance as well. 

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