Malocclusion: Types, Causes and Treatment

Dentist Blog

In ideal circumstances, your teeth should be aligned such that those in the front upper jaw slightly overlap the ones in the lower jaw. This allows the opposing molars in both dental arches to fit into the other's grooves. Malocclusion refers to any deviation from this arrangement which arises when there is an incorrect relationship between the upper and lower arches as well as general misalignment of teeth.

Some severe cases result in the disharmony of the facial structures and other irregularities. If you have malocclusion, it is important to seek assistance from your dentist or a specialized orthodontist.


Malocclusion can be easily identified through the routine dental examinations so the problem is recognized early in people who regularly visit the dentist. When the condition is identified, it is classified as a Class I, II and III and the severity is assessed. Class I is the most common because complete perfection in the alignment of teeth is atypical for most individuals. The dental arches in this type will be relatively good but problems such as overcrowding and wide spacing will be identified.

Class II is also known as the overbite or retrognathism and it occurs when the front teeth are protruding or there is severe overlapping of the upper dental arch over the lower one. Class III occurs when the lower jaw protrudes and overlaps the upper one. This type is also recognized as an underbite or prognathism.


Only a fraction of the human population has perfect teeth alignment and most cases of malocclusion are inherited. There are also conditions, habits and practices that can contribute to or accelerate malocclusion.

The prolonged use of pacifiers, sucking the thumb and long-term bottle feeding can alter the structure of the still forming structure of the jaw in early childhood. Medical conditions such as cleft lip and palate and oral tumours also contribute to deformation of the jaw. Poor dental care including poorly fitting prosthesis will also adversely affect natural alignment.


You should seek dental care for malocclusion even when it does not seem to affect you. It will reduce the risk of tooth decay resulting from uneven wear, promote hygiene and mitigate the pressure exerted on the jaw. The teeth are usually realigned through the use dental braces. Removal of teeth may be necessary when there is overcrowding and bonding or capping may also be done.

In severe cases, surgery as well as expansion and reverse-pull headgear can be used to reshape the structure of the jaw. Learn more about your options by contacting local clinics such as Denison Dental Surgeries.


18 February 2015

Dental Checkups: Preparing for Your Checkup

Hi! My name is Sarah, and as a busy professional, I understand the importance of making the most of my time. That includes everything from having productive working lunches to making the most of my dental checkups. I have created this blog to help you maximise your dental checkups. In these posts, you can learn how to prepare for your checkup, which questions to ask during your checkup and more. I am also going to have posts explaining why checkups are critical to your dental health as well as the health of your entire body. Happy reading, and thanks for visiting my blog!