When your upper teeth and lower teeth do not contact properly when you close your jaw, you have a malocclusion. Translating the technical term, “malocclusion” means “bad bite”. And, that describes exactly what it is.
There are various malocclusion forms: Overbite, underbite, crossbite and open bite–each indicative of their own description. One in five persons have some sort of malocclusion, a few of which are minor enough that they do not require any correction, while the others should be referred to an orthodontist for treatment. The end goal, to achieve proper alignment so that when exerting biting force there is equal distribution and effective, comfortable chewing capability. If it goes untreated, malocclusion can end up causing broken teeth and even the loss of teeth.
There are three classes of malocclusion:
Type I: Spaces in between teeth, crowded teeth, or teeth that are rotated or twisted.
Type II: Overbite, where the lower jaw sits too far back causing upper teeth to appear pushed out further than normal.
Type III: Underbite, where the lower jaw sits too far forward causing the lower teeth to appear in front of the upper teeth.
Braces and time are the usual fix for most forms of malocclusion, with adjustments in phases, but in some cases, type III will require jaw surgery. Your orthodontist is the proper specialist for this diagnosis.
If you have malocclusion and would like more information about treatment, call Dr. Mark Padilla and our helpful team at MP Orthodontics. Phone: 214-474-3193, or come by our office in Plano, Texas.