Malocclusion “Bad Bite” | Dr. Mark Sayed
Malocclusion simply means that a person’s teeth are not properly aligned. “Mal” is the Latin root meaning bad, poor, ill, or incorrect and “occlusion” refers to how the teeth from the upper and lower jaw fit together and align.
Most often, malocclusion is hereditary condition passed down from parent to child but it can also be caused by many other factors:
Causes of Malocclusion
- Irregularities in teeth: premature loss of primary / baby teeth, extra teeth, impacted teeth, abnormally shaped teeth or lost teeth
- Injury / Trauma to the jaw area: fractures to the bone or teeth that have become knocked out or damaged
- Childhood activity: excessive thumb sucking, pacifier and bottle usage
- Abnormal growth in soft tissue: tumors around the mouth or jaw
Symptoms of Malocclusion
Malocclusion can have several undesirable symptoms ranging from unmanageable pain to aesthetic concerns. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to properly diagnose your condition and learn of options available for correction. Symptoms include:
- Discomfort caused by biting or chewing / Difficulty when biting or chewing
- Misalignment of teeth
- Abnormal appearance of the face, jaw or mouth
- Difficulties with speech including speech impediments such as a lisp
- Breathing through the mouth / mouth breathing
Types of Irregular Bites
There are many types of bite irregularities that fit into the category of malocclusion, several of which you may be familiar with or have heard of.
- Overcrowding of Teeth – Tight growth pattern restricting the ability of permanent teeth to grow into proper position
- Crossbite or Reverse Bite — Lateral misalignment of the dental arches
- Open Bite – An open bite is occurs when the upper teeth do not contact the lower teeth making it difficult to bite or chew. This condition is most often found in the area of the front teeth or incisors of a patient.
- Overbite— An overbite is the occurrence of the upper front teeth (incisors) overlap too far beyond the lower teeth when biting or chewing.
- Spacing problems— Spacing problems are abnormally large spaces or gaps between teeth. This can occur from missing teeth, lost teeth, or from unusually small or misshaped teeth.
Correcting your malocclusion can have multiple benefits. It may reduce the risk of tooth decay, improve smile aesthetics, improve your ability to chew, or reduce discomfort from excessive pressure on adjacent teeth, the jaw or related muscles and joints.
Treatments to correct malocclusion include:
- Braces or other appliances: Invisalign, ceramic braces, clear braces, traditional braces
- Removal of one or more teeth: Removal may be necessary if overcrowding is part of the problem.
- Repair of rough or irregular teeth: Teeth may need to be resized, reshaped, bonded or capped.
- Orthodontic Surgery: Surgery may be required to lengthen or shorten the jaw.
If you have any questions about malocclusion, call our office at 949-493-3993 to schedule your appointment.
We offer a complimentary consultation, to determine if orthodontic treatment is needed or even for a second opinion. After the consultation, you will automatically be entered in the opportunity drawing to win free Braces.