If you were born with straight teeth and a perfectly-aligned bite, consider yourself lucky. Slight misalignment between the upper and lower jaw is common in almost all children and many adults. Bite misalignment, called malocclusion, is the most common reason children are referred to an orthodontist. With that in mind, our Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal would like to share some information about malocclusion and what can be done to correct it.
Malocclusion: Out of Line
There are three classes, or types, of malocclusion.
- Class one—The most common malocclusion occurs when the bite is otherwise normal, but the teeth in the upper jaw barely overlap the teeth in the bottom jaw.
- Class two—This type of malocclusion is commonly called an overbite. Like the name suggests, it occurs when the upper teeth significantly overlap the bottom teeth.
- Class three—In the opposite of a class two, the underbite occurs when the bottom jaw sticks out farther than the upper jaw. In this type of malocclusion, the bottom teeth overlap the upper teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can usually correct a misaligned bite.
- Braces—Braces are system of metal wires attached to brackets placed on the individual teeth. Braces slowly move teeth over time until the desired result is reached.
- Dental appliance—Younger patients can often benefit from an appliance that uses the natural growth of the child to move the jaw into a better position.
- Spacers—Spacers keep teeth from moving or drifting into open space created by lost teeth.
- Retainer—A retainer is a fixed or removable apparatus that keeps the teeth in place after orthodontic treatment.
Causes of Malocclusion
Poor bite alignment is often hereditary but can also be caused by lost teeth, congenital defects such as cleft lip and palate, or a difference in size between the upper and lower jaw. Severe malocclusion can cause tooth wear, tooth decay, and jaw pain.
Schedule a Consultation
While many people have a slightly misaligned bite, severe malocclusion can cause serious dental problems. The best way to ensure you have a healthy bite is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cabal. He offers a variety of orthodontic services for children and adults and can answer any questions you have about proper bite alignment for you or your child. Contact us by calling our Lake Worth dental office at (817) 236-7846. We serve patients from Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Lake Worth, and surrounding cities.