Types Of Malocclusion: Understanding Each Condition And Treatment

Types Of Malocclusion: Understanding Each Condition And Treatment

Truly, there are various types of malocclusion existing even long before science and technology help us solve them. Each of them portrays a different condition of the teeth. For this reason, each of them may or may not require a different treatment approach. However, all of the treatment options that dentists often consider fall under orthodontic treatment. These treatments, such as braces, can work for patients of various ages. Furthermore, patients can experience some malocclusion with no symptoms, while others may be inconvenient and even painful. If you feel like you have an existing malocclusion, it would be best to seek dental help right away.

 

Malocclusion

Malocclusion can even occur to children.Malocclusion is a dental condition that involves poor alignment of the teeth and jaws. As a result, the person with this condition will have a poor bite. We can identify the bite as how the top and bottom teeth align inside the mouth. In a standard bite, the upper teeth sit slightly forward of a person’s bottom teeth. Unfortunately, only a few people have a bite that is within perfection.

Malocclusion is not a disease, but it affects a person aesthetically. Additionally, it doesn’t affect the physical health of the person who has it. But then again, its impact on the face and teeth appearance could lead to embarrassment, lack of self-confidence, and, worst, depression.

Furthermore, it can significantly affect the practice of proper oral hygiene. Some areas would be hard to clean, resulting in tooth decay or tooth loss. Besides that, it can also trouble a person’s way of speaking and chewing.

 

Causes of Malocclusion Involving Upper Teeth and Lower Teeth

A person’s malocclusion can be inherited, which happens in most cases. But then again, other causes can lead to malocclusion, including the following.

  • Jaw misalignment
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Children’s prolonged pacifier usage or bottle feeding
  • Impacted tooth or unusual tooth shape
  • Thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
  • Breathing using the mouth (mostly during childhood)
  • Injuries
  • Improper dental works during childhood
  • Gum disease
  • Baby teeth’ early fall out

Any of these causes can lead to malocclusion. Since we already have information about the potential reason, it would be best to do something. We can apply prevention to those where we can act upon earlier.

 

Classes of Malocclusions

Class of malocclusion is also available. Before we proceed to the types, let’s discuss the classes first.

Class I Malocclusion

This class is the usual malocclusion among the majority of the population. In this case, there is no problem with the bite, but the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth more than the standard.

Class II Malocclusion

It involves the condition wherein the upper jaw and teeth extend past the bottom teeth severely. They often refer to this malocclusion as an overbite.

Class III Malocclusion

This malocclusion occurs when the lower jaw and teeth are more forward than the upper teeth. The other term dental professionals use for class III is underbite or prognathism.

 

Different Types of Malocclusions

As mentioned earlier, the types of malocclusions can vary from one person to another. Given this point, let us find out more details about these different types of malocclusions.

1. Overcrowding

This type of malocclusion occurs due to the lack of space available in the mouth. As a result, the teeth overlap and become crooked. It is the most common type among the malocclusions existing.

2. Overjet

It is the result when the upper teeth extend past the bottom too far horizontally. However, it does not mean it is an overbite. In effect, the person who has it will experience issues chewing food and speaking.

3. Overbite

This type of malocclusion involves the lower front teeth overlapping beyond the standard. A severe case of an overbite can lead the lower front teeth to hit the gums as the teeth bite together.

4. Crossbite

A crossbite involves the upper teeth biting down inside the lower teeth. Additionally, it can affect one or both sides of the jaw, including the anterior or posterior teeth.

5. Anterior Crossbite

Anterior crossbite is the type of malocclusion that affects the front teeth. The other term for this type is the underbite.

6. Spacing

In this case, one or more teeth contain spaces in between. The following are the potential causes of these spaces.

  • missing teeth
  • small teeth
  • tongue thrusting
  • thumb sucking
  • tooth impaction
7. Open Bite

Open bite is the type of malocclusion wherein the front teeth do not overlap the lower teeth properly. It is also known as an anterior open bite.

The different types of malocclusion require various treatments as well. The dentist or the orthodontist will determine the exact method to use in addressing the malocclusion. Here are a few of the options that may apply to the patient.

 

Treatment Options for Malocclusion

A general dentist usually makes the initial diagnosis of malocclusion. Afterward, they will recommend to their patients what they think is the most suitable treatment method for their condition. Additionally, they may also refer the patients to an appropriate specialist to further check the issue.

  1. Braces as one the treatment option to address malocclusion.Braces or Invisalign: This method corrects the position of teeth in the jaw using dental appliances that gradually move them. The length of time that a patient will need to see the final results may vary. It will depend on their conditions and the severity of their oral problems.
  2. Tooth extraction: This procedure allows the dentist to correct the existing overcrowding of teeth. It may or may not be necessary when conducting an orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist will determine the need during the consultation.
  3. Reshaping, bonding, or using crowns or veneers: These cosmetic procedures can help realign the teeth by changing their sizes and shapes without extraction or prolonged treatment. Using any of these chosen restorative methods, you only correct the physical appearance of your teeth and not their proper alignment.
  4. Surgery: This method aims to reshape or reposition the jaw. Surgery often takes place in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

A patient can experience mild, moderate, or severe cases of malocclusion. The conditions may affect either or both of the front or back teeth. Orthodontic treatment has been continuously developing to address various issues to fix the misalignment of teeth.

Nowadays, brands like Clear Correct or Invisalign manufacture clear plastic aligners that allow the movement of teeth. With the production of clear aligners, many people are now seeking orthodontics. However, how would we know which of them is the right option?

Generally speaking, their differences can help the patients decide which one of the two will fit their needs. That includes the cost, thickness, and comfortability of the mouth. Others may also consider the manufacturer’s experience and expertise. In the final analysis, the dentist or orthodontist will help the patient decide.

 

References:

Overview of Malocclusion, Sherry Christiansen, Edmund Khoo, DDS, Updated March 13, 2021, https://www.verywellhealth.com/malocclusion-overview-4682609

Malocclusion (Misaligned Teeth): Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment, Anjana Motihar Chandra, Accessed August 06, 2021, https://www.healthxchange.sg/head-neck/oral-health/misaligned-teeth-malocclusion-causes-diagnosis-treatment

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