Occlusion is defined as the position of the teeth when the jaw is closed. ‘Mal’ is a prefix that means ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ Malocclusion is a bad positioning of the teeth when the jaw is closed. A bad bite caused by malocclusion can lead to crooked, crowded, protruding teeth, gum problems, temporomandibular joint disorder (commonly known as TMJ), and chronic headaches. It can affect a person’s appearance, speech and/or ability to eat. Malocclusion is the most common reason children are referred to an orthodontist.
Types Of Malocclusion
There are three types, known as classes, of malocclusion.
- Class One—The most common type of malocclusion occurs when the bite is mostly normal, but the teeth in the upper jaw slightly overlap the teeth in the bottom jaw.
- Class two—This type of malocclusion is commonly referred to as an overbite. Fitting to the name, it occurs when the upper teeth significantly overlap the bottom teeth.
- Class three—The underbite, also fitting to its name, 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 lost teeth, congenital defects such as cleft lip and palate, or a difference in size between the upper and lower jaw. It is often hereditary.
Some Types of Treatment
- Braces—Braces are a system of metal wires attached to metal or ceramic brackets that are placed on the individual teeth. Braces slowly move teeth over time until the malocclusion is corrected.
- Invisalign—Removable invisible aligners that slowly move teeth over time until malocclusion is corrected.
- Spacers—Spacers can keep teeth from moving or shifting especially after losing a tooth
- Retainer—A retainer can be a fixed or removable apparatus that keeps the teeth in place after orthodontic treatment.
Treatment for malocclusion can prevent future problems
Ask 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.