Why And How To Correct A Dental Misplaced Midline

Posted on: 18 March 2015

Orthodontic treatment frequently targets differences between the positioning of the upper and lower teeth. This can lead to common bite problems such as an overbite, underbite or crossbite. But incorrect positioning can also lead to a condition called misplaced midline, which happens when the center line of the upper teeth doesn't line up with the center line of the bottom teeth. It might seem like a simple cosmetic issue, but there are reasons you want to have a misplaced midline fixed as soon as possible.

Why Should You Fix a Misplaced Midline?

The lack of center alignment between the upper and lower teeth often stems from a crossbite in the rear section of teeth. This means that your upper or lower rear teeth are slanting further inwards or outwards from the matching teeth. You might feel discomfort when chewing or simply trying to hold your mouth shut.

If you leave the crossbite and misplaced midline untreated, the jaw can grow even further out of place over time. This is particularly true in children and teenagers, but adults can also see the condition worsening over time. The more the teeth begin to lean due to the crossbite the more likely it is that neighboring "healthy" teeth will also start to lean out of place.

How to Fix a Misplaced Midline

Metal or clear braces are often enough to get the teeth pushed back into the correct positioning. Metal braces will often be fitted with crisscrossing bands to help expedite this process. If you opt for clear braces, an orthodontist (such as one from Crest Hill Family Dental) will make a new tray periodically that's molded to the current progress of your teeth. This allows for the constant tailoring of treatment to ensure the teeth are cooperating and moving as planned.

In some cases, the crossbite and misplaced midline are caused not by the teeth being out of position but by the actual jaw being off. These situations require jaw surgery to help ensure that the upper and lower jaws match. Moving the jaw won't automatically make the upper and lower teeth match up. So you might still need to wear braces of some kind to fix the problem.

The treatments for a misplaced midline might seem intimidating, but it's important to get treatment before any more damage is done to your teeth. Caught early, the condition can usually be treated with a shorter term braces schedule. Keep waiting for treatment and you might face years in a brace tray or going under the knife for jaw surgery.