Explain malocclusion of teeth please.
Malocclusion of teeth has many other names including crowded teeth, misaligned teeth, underbite, and overbite. It simply means that the teeth are not aligned properly.
Malocclusion is often hereditary. This could be due to the upper jaw and lower jaw being different sizes or tooth size may not fit properly in regards to jaw size.
There are 3 different categories of malocclusion:
- Class 1 - This is the most common type of malocclusion. When this occurs it means that the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth.
- Class 2 - This type is called retrognathism. This is an overbite that occurs when the upper jaw and teeth severely overlap the lower jaw and teeth.
- Class 3 - This type is called prognathism. This is an underbite that occurs when the lower jaw protrudes, causing the lower jaw and teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth.
Orthodontists can fix most of these dental issues with the use of braces or surgery, depending on the type of malocclusion.
Malocclusion of the teeth occurs when missing teeth create wide spaces, when teeth overlap, or when malposition of the teeth prevents correct alignment. Protrusion of the upper teeth is called overbite, protrusion of the lower teeth is called underbite.
Malocclusion can cause pain and problems with the TMJ joint(temporomandibular joint) which may lead to headaches and other problems like the chewing of food(mastication). Not to mention self esteem issues from the awkward appearance of the teeth.
Fortunately, malocclusions are very treatable. Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with these types of problems.