Teeth and jaws that are well aligned and in functional harmony are referred to as good occlusion. When a malocclusion, sometimes known as a “poor bite,” occurs, one or both teeth are not in the correct locations or relationships.
There are various dental problems that can influence the locations of the teeth and jaws and necessitate orthodontic treatment. Crowding, spacing, jaw development issues, or the failure of particular teeth to erupt into their appropriate places can all cause malocclusion. Bite difficulties, as well as the drifting of teeth into unrestored areas left by dental extractions or tooth loss, can be caused by harmful oral behaviors such as finger sucking or tongue thrusting. Teeth can sometimes form in the jawbone in ways that prevent them from emerging. These teeth are known as impacted teeth.
Malocclusion is caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental causes. Injuries that produce a misalignment of the jaws, as well as disorders such as oral cancers, can alter the occlusion.
By the time they are in the first or second grade, most abnormalities regarding tooth alignment and jaw growth can be noticed in children. As a result, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive an orthodontic checkup by seven. Most orthodontic treatment for youngsters begins between the ages of 9 and 14. However, at a younger age, earlier and interceptive care may be required. Orthodontic treatment may also include treatment throughout growth and development in cases of substantial abnormalities regarding jaw connections.
It’s worth noting that malocclusion can be corrected at any age. Adults are increasingly seeking treatment for crooked teeth or jaw disorders that have affected them since infancy, as well as teeth that have shifted over time as a result of extractions, habits, or atypical bite patterns.
While a clinical examination can detect malocclusions, a more thorough examination is required to make a complete diagnosis and develop the best treatment plan.
Types Of Malocclusion
Malocclusions are classified into three categories based on the alignment and bite abnormalities that exist. They can be caused by problems with dental alignment, skeletal jaw disharmonies, or a combination of both.
- Class 1: This is the most frequent type of malocclusion, which is defined by a normal bite but tooth alignment issues.
- Class 2: This malocclusion is defined by an “overbite,” in which the top teeth are positioned ahead of the bottom teeth and show more overlap.
- Class 3: An “underbite” or mandibular prognathism is a malocclusion in which the lower jaw and anterior teeth are in front of the upper teeth.
While most malocclusions respond to orthodontic therapy, some require a combination of orthodontic and orthognathic surgery to correct skeletal jaw connections.