7 Types of Malocclusion and How They’re Treated
Did you know that approximately 3.5 billion people are living with toothaches and oral diseases?
While toothaches may not seem like a big deal, they can sometimes lead to more severe problems, such as tooth loss.
If you have ever lost all your teeth, you know that, without teeth, it’s hard to chew your food properly, and your sense of taste is greatly diminished.
This is why knowing more about types of malocclusion and treatment options is so important. Malocclusion is a condition in which the teeth don’t align correctly, leading to potential health issues.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about the types of malocclusion and how to treat it. Let’s get started!
Causes of Malocclusion
Malocclusion is the misalignment of the teeth or bite. It can be genetics, thumb sucking, or other habits. Treatment for it typically involves braces or other orthodontic devices.
Malocclusion can be a cosmetic issue, but it can also lead to more serious problems such as difficulty chewing or speaking, TMJ problems, and tooth decay. If you think you may have malocclusion, be sure to see your dentist or orthodontist for an evaluation.
Different Types of Malocclusion
There are three classes of malocclusion. Each of them is treated differently, depending on the severity and the type of condition.
Class I is the most common type of malocclusion, where the teeth are crowded or overlapping.
Class II is when the upper teeth protrude past the lower teeth.
Class III is when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth.
Within these three classes, a patient can have seven different types of misalignment. Treatment options will vary depending on age and the type of malocclusion.
If you or your child have malocclusion, orthodontic treatment is available based on your specific needs. So, always remember to choose the right orthodontist and discuss which treatment option is best for you or your child.
Here are the seven types of malocclusion and how you can treat them:
An overbite is a class II malocclusion that occurs when the lower jaw is in an incorrect position.
This results in the upper teeth and jaw having too much overlapping with the lower teeth and jaw. It can be attributed to genetics, childhood sucking habits, or even a combination of the two.
An overbite should be treated as soon as possible. If it is left untreated, there is a higher risk of developing a jaw disorder, gum disease, or tooth decay over time.
It can be fixed with braces and devices attached to your teeth to move them into the correct position. There are also clear aligners, which are similar to braces but are less visible.
An underbite is a class III malocclusion that occurs when the lower jaw is pushed forward.
An underbite is when the lower teeth protrude past the upper teeth. The cause can be the upper jaw being too small, the lower jaw being too large, or the teeth not erupting properly.
Treatment usually involves braces to move the teeth into their proper positions. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.
A crossbite is a class II malocclusion that occurs when a few bottom teeth are located outside the upper teeth when the mouth is closed.
Crossbite is a type of malocclusion that can also occur in any of the three classes. It is when the teeth do not line up properly when you bite down and can cause the teeth to wear down unevenly.
Crossbite is usually treated with braces, and in some cases, surgery may also be necessary to correct the bite.
4. Open Bite
An open bite is the rarest form of malocclusion. It occurs when the upper and lower teeth slant outwards and do not touch when the mouth is closed. An open bite can either affect the anterior teeth or posterior teeth.
Treatment for an open bite may involve braces or other corrective appliances to realign the teeth. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an open bite.
An overjet or upper front teeth protrusion is usually caused by a class II malocclusion, which is when the upper teeth are ahead of the lower teeth.
Overjet can be due to genetic factors, childhood habits, and/or irregular skeletal development. Untreated overjet can also result in Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).
Standard treatment options for overjet are dental braces, clear aligners & retainers, Carriere appliance, and cervical pull headgear for children.
6. Crowded Teeth
Dental crowding, also called overcrowded teeth, occurs when there is not enough space in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow straight.
Crowding is a class I malocclusion that typically only affects the anterior teeth. This form of malocclusion can be due to abnormal jaw development, irregular tooth eruption or loss, and normal aging.
Treatment depends on the patient’s options. It can be dental braces, clear aligners, retainers, veneers for adults, or dentofacial orthopedics for children and adults.
7. Gapped Teeth
Diastema is when there is a space or gap between two or more teeth. Gaps can range from barely noticeable to large. Midline diastema, which appears as a gap between the two upper front teeth, is the most common.
Common treatment options for gapped teeth and diastema are braces, clear aligners & retainers for both children and adults, dental bonding, or restorations typically for adults only.
But if you are comfortable, you can also leave it as is without any treatment.
Start Taking Care of Your Teeth Today
Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth when the jaws close. The four main types of malocclusion are overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite. Each type has different kinds of treatments, but common treatments include braces, retainers, and surgery.
If you think you may have a malocclusion, consult your dentist or orthodontist. Your general dentist can determine which option is best for your oral health.
S, what are you waiting for? Bring back that confident smile today!
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