DR ARMEN TARANYAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR ARMEN TARANYAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Close-up of the mouth of a patient's with a dental malocclusion, whose lower teeth are also covered with plaque and tartar. A malocclusion is misalignment between the teeth of the upper and lower jaws as they close. It may be an inherited condition, or the upper and lower jaws may be different sizes. Crowding of the teeth in the mouth may also cause the condition. Braces may be used to correct the position of the teeth. Extraction of some teeth may also be required if there is overcrowding. In extreme cases surgery to lengthen or shorten the jawbones may be necessary. Plaque is a bacterial biofilm that can form on teeth and can cause tooth decay. Tartar is a mineralised and hardened form of dental plaque. If not treated, the condition can lead to gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth loss.
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