Malocclusion is an orthodontic condition where your teeth are misaligned; this can cause complications in your oral and digestive health if you don’t address it. It may also be called by the following names:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite

If you have malocclusion, your teeth may not perform vital functions like chewing well. Learn more about this condition and its appropriate treatments with the help of an orthodontist to protect overall oral and digestive health.

Your teeth’s alignment in the mouth is called occlusion. Typically, your pearly whites should fit your oral cavity. Otherwise, they might be spaced incorrectly or sit in a crooked position.

Your upper jaw teeth must overlap with your lower jaw teeth so that your upper molar ridges fit into the grooves of your lower molars.

Excessive spacing between teeth or significant misalignment of your teeth is an occlusal irregularity called malocclusion. This can cause you to grind or clench your teeth, leading to additional dental problems.

You can protect yourself from these problems by working with an orthodontist to ensure that the alignment of your upper teeth does not cause additional issues.

Malocclusion is most often hereditary, meaning it is passed down through families. It is caused by a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws, the size of the jaw or tooth size, or any other factor that causes tooth overcrowding or abnormal bite patterns. The shape of the jaw may also be a reason for a malocclusion.

Fixed braces can correct a jaw that opens too wide or closes too tightly. Sometimes other types of braces such as Invisalign or Hawley braces are used.

Other causes include:

  • The use of a pacifier even after the age of 3
  • Continued bottle-feeding of a child in early childhood (up to 4 years old)
  • Thumb sucking in early childhood (up to 4 years old).
  • If ever one has injured their jaw, growth may occur in the mouth or jaw, or if your teeth are unusually shaped or impacted.
  • Dental care that results in improperly fitting braces or dental fillings may also result in misaligned jaws.
  • Allergies resulting in mouth breathing or enlarged tonsils or adenoids that result in airway obstruction.

While the general term aptly describes the condition, it comes in three forms representing a particular misalignment.

  • Common malocclusion is most commonly class 1, a condition in which the upper and lower teeth overlap each other slightly. 
  • Class 2 occurs when the upper jaw overlaps the bottom jaw severely. 
  • Lastly, class 3 is when the lower jaw protrudes or juts forward, causing severe upper jaw overlapping. 

First, the expert to consult with regarding this is called an orthodontist. They will then recommend procedures such as:

  • The wearing of braces to correct the position of your teeth.
  • The installation of dental appliances or retainers to realign teeth.
  • The removal of teeth to correct overcrowding.
  • Reshaping, bonding, or capping of teeth.
  • Surgery that reshapes or shortens The jaw.

Problems with teeth alignment don’t just exist in kids. Adults suffer from them, too, especially if the condition wasn’t adequately addressed in their youth. Good thing both patients can visit an orthodontist easily to get the best solution for correcting improper alignment. All they need to do is pick up their smartphones and look for one on their preferred search engine.

You can visit an orthodontist in Manassas, VA, at Solarte Orthodontics! We specialize in tooth alignment concerns such as overbites, underbites, and even crossbites so you can have a healthy smile. Book your appointment with us now!