What is a Malocclusion?

Southern California Family Dentistry

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A malocclusion is a general misalignment of the teeth. It can also be a faulty alliance between the upper arch (maxilla) and lower arch (mandible). A malocclusion may develop from genetic factors and poor oral habits.

Three main allocations of malocclusion:

Class I: There is some spacing or overcrowding problems with the other teeth.

Class II: There is an overbite, which usually occurs when the upper teeth are arranged further than the lower teeth.

Class III: There is an underbite, which usually occurs when the jawbone is large or the maxillary bone is short.

Why treat a malocclusion?

  • The uneven wear pattern of the teeth may cause tooth erosion and decay.
  • Overcrowding and poorly aligned teeth may make it difficult to effectively clean the teeth and gums.
  • Avoid headaches, facial pains and grinding teeth during sleep from malocclusions.

Types of treatments:

  • Fixed multibracket braces: “Full braces” help guide the teeth to proper alignment.
  • Removable devices: Non-fixed dental braces, such as retainers, headgear and palate expanders are common removable devices that hold teeth in the correct position. This helps the jawbone grow properly around the teeth.
  • Invisalign®: Invisalign is a transparent aligner that adjusts teeth, similar to wire braces.

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