A malocclusion, which is an imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed and can cause oral health problems and be a major annoyance to those who suffer from it.
With that said, a good portion of individuals suffers from malocclusions without having any harmful effects. However, in more severe cases, malocclusions need to be treated appropriately, which is why accessing the type of malocclusion you have along with the severity is crucial.
Different Types of Malocclusions
Although many have never heard of the term malocclusion, most have probably heard of the various types of malocclusions, which include: an overbite, overcrowded teeth, spaced teeth and a crossbite.
In most cases, malocclusions do not present any health risks but can affect one’s self-esteem if a malocclusion hinders a smile’s aesthetic appeal.
Here are the most common forms of malocclusions.
Overcrowding is the most common form of malocclusions among adults, and subsequently, it is one of the main reasons for orthodontic treatment among adults.
Quite simply, overcrowding is precisely what it sounds like, crowding of the teeth due to a lack of space. Fortunately, overcrowding is easy to treat. The most common forms of treatment for overcrowded teeth are various forms of braces and, to a lesser degree, tooth removal.
Before diving into when an overbite is potentially problematic, it is essential to understand that a slight overbite is typical for most and is not a cause for concern.
With that said, an overbite in which the top front teeth touch the gums can lead to problems, such as difficulty chewing, speech impediments and a higher chance to grind teeth during sleep. Also, it is possible to suffer from an underbite, which occurs when the bottom teeth stick out beyond the top and can cause similar issues if left untreated.
A crossbite is somewhat similar to an underbite, where your upper teeth will bite inside your lower teeth. However, an underbite refers to the front teeth only, and a crossbite can happen on either side of the jaw or both sides.
While a minor crossbite doesn’t pose any dental concerns, a more severe crossbite can affect eating, speech, and appearance. If any of these issues start to form as a result of a crossbite, it is important to seek advice from an orthodontist to find out treatment options, which typically involve braces.
Lastly, spaced teeth are one of the more common forms of malocclusions. Most commonly, the spacing is the result of a more massive mouth structure, which means more space for teeth.
However, spacing can be the result of several different reasons, including missing teeth or small teeth. Although spaced teeth aren’t typically threatening to one’s dental health, they can cause issues in the event there is a missing tooth and may cause insecurities in many as the spacing is usually quite noticeable. Unless one experiences toothaches or any other issues with the teeth or gums, then spacing doesn’t typically need to be treated differently than for aesthetic concerns.
We are always here to help with malocclusion!
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Bruce Gloeckner DDS, request an appointment in our Bakersfield dental office here: https://alohaorthodonticsbakersfield.com. Or call us at (661) 349-4709.
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