If your teeth are crooked, misaligned, or otherwise in need of orthodontic work, they are maloccluded. This term covers a range of issues with the placement of teeth. Teeth can become maloccluded for a variety of reasons: trauma to the mouth or jaw that knocks teeth out of alignment, tumors, improperly fitted crowns or fillings, excessive thumb sucking or pacifier use as a child, or teeth that simply grew in the wrong way.
What are the types of malocclusion?
There are three main classifications of malocclusion:
- Class 1: The most common type of malocclusion involves a normal bite, but the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
- Class 2: The upper teeth and jaw severely overlap the lower teeth and jaw. Also called overbite or retrognathism.
- Class 3: The opposite of class 2, where the lower teeth and jaw overlap the upper teeth. Also called underbite or prognathism.
Additional terms describe specific misalignment issues:
- In an upper protrusion, the upper front teeth are pushed outward.
- If the upper front teeth don’t meet the lower front teeth, the result is a misplaced midline.
- Transposition describes a tooth occupying the space where another tooth should be.
How is malocclusion treated?
Orthodontic treatment is the best way to address malocclusion. Braces and Invisalign restore your teeth to perfect alignment and correct problems with your bite. These reliable treatments gradually apply pressure that moves your teeth to the correct position. In the process, your teeth become easier to clean, more cosmetically appealing, and better able to perform chewing and speaking functions.
Don’t hesitate to get malocclusion corrected: the earlier in life, the better. Call Pacific Dental Care to schedule your orthodontic consultation.