Malocclusion is a problem when the teeth in the upper and lower dental arches are not rightly aligned. When the upper and lower jaw connects, the upper teeth should slightly overlap those in the lower jaw. This allows the molars to exactly match each other. A poor bite quality can result in crooked, or crowded teeth and can even lead to gum infections. Other consequences include severe headaches and sleep disorders. Another common effect is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction that can lead to eating and speaking related problems.
Malocclusion can be a birth defect and can arise from incorrect teeth spacing and irregular jaw or mouth size. It can also result from habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. Other than that, accidents, dental diseases, and problems related to the tonsils and adenoids can also be reasons behind it. There are various types of malocclusion and they are identified as overbite, underbite, crossbite, overjet, and others. These are also further classified as class 1, class 2, and class 3 types.
A common symptom of malocclusion is an abnormal appearance of the teeth or of the face. There can also be an inability to bite or chew the food properly. In some rare cases, speech difficulties can happen. In some cases, malocclusion can happen without causing any problem to the patient and is termed as physiological malocclusion.
Malocclusion is treated by orthodontic treatments and cosmetic dentistry. The use of braces is one of the most common forms of treatment for correcting the bite. They can be used for both children and adults. Presently, Invisalign clear aligners are also used as they are less bothersome than braces and even less visible. Orthodontic treatments require time and planning and at times it can last for two years or more. In case the reason is overcrowding of teeth, surgical removal of one or more teeth can be needed.
Right Choice Dental Care can address all forms of malocclusion through cosmetic dentistry and provide the right level of friendly care to bring your teeth back in their right form.
What causes malocclusion?
Malocclusion is usually an inherited condition. This means it can be passed down from one generation to the next.
There are some conditions or habits that may change the shape and structure of the jaw. These include:
- cleft lip and palate
- frequent use of a pacifier after the age of 3
- prolonged use of bottle feeding in early childhood
- thumb sucking in early childhood
- injuries that result in the misalignment of the jaw
- tumors in the mouth or jaw
- abnormally shaped or impacted teeth
- poor dental care that results in improperly fitting dental fillings, crowns, or braces
- airway obstruction (mouth breathing), potentially caused by allergies or by enlarged adenoids or tonsils
What Are the Symptoms of a Malocclusion?
Depending on the classification of malocclusion, the symptoms of the disorder may be subtle or severe. Typical symptoms of malocclusion include:
- improper alignment of the teeth
- alteration in the appearance of the face
- frequent biting of the inner cheeks or tongue
- discomfort when chewing or biting
- speech problems, including the development of a lisp
- breathing through the mouth rather than the nose
Treatment for the disorder may also result in some complications. These include:
- tooth decay
- pain or discomfort
- irritation of the mouth from the use of appliances, such as braces
- difficulty chewing or speaking during treatment
How do you fix a bad bite? How do you fix malocclusion?
At Right Choice Dental Care, we welcome patients who seek braces or Invisalign to adjust their teeth. Sometimes, there are different steps that must be taken to create the healthiest version of your smile.
Patients with complex issues visit us for help with bite correction. A bad bite can affect more than just the shape of your smile. It also affects the overall health of teeth, gums and mouth.
Our dentists are dedicated to giving you a smile that looks great, healthy and functional. Our dentists can help you with bite correction issues. Fixing a bad bite is important at multiple levels. Not only does correcting the problem prevent further dental deterioration and other potential oral health issues, it also enhances the smile and self-esteem.
What Type of Bite Problems Occur?
There are several different types of bite problems that exist. Here are some of the most common:
- Overbite - An overbite occurs when the top row of teeth extends far beyond the bottom row of teeth. This results owing to a misaligned or different sized jaw. Overbite also results in the front teeth appearing larger or protruding in a larger way.
- Underbite - In an Underbite, the lower row of teeth is not aligned with the top row of teeth.
- Crowded Teeth - These types of teeth can cause long-term dental and gum issues because they are harder to clean.
Consult our dentists today to find out how our treatment options for a deep bite can help restore your smile and your confidence. They will help you bring comfort back to your bite.
How common is malocclusion?
A deep bite (also known as a Type II Malocclusion) is a condition in which the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth, which can result in hard and soft tissue trauma, in addition to an effect on appearance. It has been found to occur in 15-20% of the US population.
How can you prevent malocclusion?
Preventing the disorder can be difficult because most cases of malocclusion are hereditary. Parents of young children should limit pacifier and bottle use to help reduce changes in the development of the jaw. Early detection of malocclusion may help cut down on the length (and severity) of the treatment needed to correct the problem.
Diagnosing & what are the different types of malocclusion?
Malocclusion of teeth is typically diagnosed through routine dental exams. Your dentist will examine your teeth and may perform dental X-rays to determine if your teeth are properly aligned. If malocclusion is detected, it will be classified by its type and severity. There are three major classes of malocclusion:
- Class 1 - Class 1 malocclusion is diagnosed when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. In this type of malocclusion, the bite is normal and the overlap is slight. Class 1 malocclusion is the most common classification of malocclusion.
- Class 2 - Class 2 malocclusion is diagnosed when a severe overbite is present. This condition, known as retrognathism (or retrognathia), means that the upper teeth and jaw significantly overlap the lower jaw and teeth.
- Class 3 - Class 3 malocclusion is also diagnosed when there’s a severe underbite. This condition, known as prognathism, means that the lower jaw protrudes forward. This causes the lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth and jaw.