Occlusion is the position of the teeth when the jaw is closed. ‘Mal’ is a prefix meaning ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ Therefore, malocclusion is the bad positioning of the biting surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. The bad bite created by malocclusion can lead to crooked, crowded, protruding teeth, gum problems, temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly known as TMJ), and chronic headaches. People with normal occlusion have a bite that with matching points of the molars of each set of teeth fit the grooves of the molars of the other set. There are different types of malocclusion that require different types of treatment.
Three Types Of Malocclusion
There are three types, also known as classes, of malocclusion:
- Class One—The most common type of malocclusion occurs when the bite is normal, but the teeth of the upper jaw slightly overlap the teeth of the bottom jaw. The rest of the teeth should fall in the proper line of occlusion.
- Class two—This type of malocclusion is commonly referred to as an overbite. Referred to as overbite because it occurs when the upper teeth significantly overlap the bottom teeth.
- Class three—The underbite, which also fits its names, occurs when the bottom jaw sticks out farther than the upper jaw. In this type of malocclusion, the bottom teeth overlap the upper teeth.
Possible Causes of Malocclusion
Poor bite alignment can be caused by missing teeth, congenital defects such as cleft lip and palate, or a unmatched sizes between the upper and lower jaw. It is often hereditary. These issues can cause crowding of the teeth and imperfect bites such as overbites, underbites or crossbites. Childhood habits like the prolonged use of bottles in childhood or the sucking of a thumb or a pacifier.
Understanding the types of malocclusion can help your smile
Talk to Dr. Cabal if you believe you or your child may have malocclusion. To ask any questions, schedule your consultation by calling our office today at (817) 236-7846. Located in Ft. Worth, TX, our office proudly serves patients who live in White Settlement, North Ft. Worth, Springtown, Rome, Haslet, Azle, Saginaw, and all surrounding communities.