What Is Malocclusion?

Team Orthodontics

It is a common belief that orthodontics is all about the transformation of smiles, leaving patients with beautifully straight teeth. And, while that is a big part of it, the field of orthodontics involves so much more. For instance, malocclusions – the treatment of poor or irregular bites. 

In a nutshell, malocclusions are known as a poor bite or a misalignment of the teeth or jaw. What may not seem like too big of a deal can actually have a great impact on one’s quality of life, even interfering with the way one chews food, speaks, smiles,  breaths and more. It can also lead to a great sense of insecurity and lack of confidence. 

Malocclusions can cause crooked teeth. It can be minor or severe, but if left untreated, it continues – and can lead to all sorts of oral health issues, such as: 

  • Teeth misalignment
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Impacted tooth
  • Diastema
  • Spacing between one or more teeth
  • Protrusion of anterior teeth
  • Small lower jaw
  • Temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) disorders 

Ideally, the teeth and jaw should be properly aligned. For many, however, they aren’t. Malocclusions impact a large percentage of the population – but they aren’t all created equal. In fact, there 3 different classifications. 

Class 1 Malocclusion: Class I is the most common, consisting of overcrowding or spacing issues in the teeth. Bite ability is not interrupted. 

Class 2 Malocclusion: Class II,  includes small lower jaw and is usually accompanied with deep overbite when the upper teeth greatly overlap lower teeth.

Class 3 Malocclusion: Finally, this last class refers to malocclusion in which the upper jaw is dramatically smaller than the lower jaw – leaving the latter more visible. 

Regardless of the malocclusion and its class, there are treatments available. 

Causes and Risk Factors

No cause of malocclusion can be pinpointed, but it is often hereditary. This is especially the case since genetics play a large role in skeletal characteristics. And, quite often, if parents or siblings have a misaligned bite, you will likely, too. 

Sometimes malocclusion is thought to come from lifestyle and environmental factors. Thumb sucking is a big contributor, as well as tongue thrusting, long-term pacifier usage, mouth breathing and injuries to the mouth or jaw.

Treatment Options for Malocclusion

Braces and clear aligners play a large role in the treatment of all types of malocclusions. In our office we do a comprehensive examination, including 3D digital xrays and 3D digital impressions, to both diagnose and determine the best treatment. 

Depending on the severity of the malocclusions, options may include: 

  • Braces
  • Functional appliances: early orthodontics
  • Clear aligners: Spark/invisalign

In our office we use self ligating Damon braces , where we can expand dental arches to create spaces for over crooked teeth without extractions. 

Learn More at Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics

At Castle Hills 3D Orthodontics, our goal is to help you achieve a comfortable and beautiful smile that you will be excited to show off. When it comes to malocclusions, orthodontic treatment has the highest success rate. 

It’s time to improve your quality of life and align your bite. And, we want to help. Contact us today at 469-598-1700 or request an appointment online.