Dental Malocclusions

Malocclusions are when your teeth are either misaligned or do not set properly amongst themselves. If you have visited an orthodontist and they have told you that you have a cross bite, overbite, were any other kind of bite problem these are all malocclusions.

Modern dentistry classifies malocclusions into one of five different categories. Some estimates are as high that one in five Americans suffers from a dental malocclusion. The four types of malocclusion are:

  • Class I malocclusion – the majority of your teeth will be okay, but many other teeth will have an improper eruption or poor spacing. Orthodontists can help with specifically with what is considered an over eruption.
  • Class II malocclusion – in this case your lower jaw lies excessively behind your upper jaw. This class actually has two different sub-divisions inside of it also. In a Division I malocclusion your posterior (rear) protrude. In Division II, you might experience problems with more of your side teeth. Class II malocclusions have many causes, and can even be genetic.
  • Class III malocclusions – is the opposite of class to. In this class, your lower jaw will be anterior (closer to the front) in your upper jaw. These problems can also be genetic as well.

Malocclusions in Adults

If you are a grown adult chances are your facial bones and skull have grown as much as they’re going to. If this has caused the misalignment of your teeth then orthodontist is able to come in and correct you bite. For people who have had a lifetime of bad teeth, this can be an amazing fix.

For the most part though, malocclusions are either genetically inherited from your parents, or are aggravated by environmental factors when you’re a child.

Malocclusions in Children

While some children are born with the skeletal structure that is going to give them malocclusions, there are some things they will do that and cause them as well. Excessive thumbsucking or using a pacifier for too long can cause the child’s teeth to become malformed.

Preventing Malocclusions

Unfortunately though, for the majority of people, you will not be able to prevent malocclusions. Obviously if your child sucks their some excessively better having you can break them of. But while they’re young it is the best time for a dentist or orthodontist to take care of their malocclusions.


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