Malocclusion: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnoses

You’re probably here to learn more about the ‘m word’ your doctor may have mentioned at your visit. That word is malocclusion. No need to worry, most people have some type of malocclusion and they are fairly common. But what exactly is it? And how can you get rid of it? Read more to learn more.

What is a malocclusion?

Simply put, malocclusions are the misalignment of the teeth. Even simpler, —crooked teeth. Typically, malocclusions can be very mild. However, if left untreated, they can cause oral, physical and even mental health problems down the road. Think of your teeth as tires on a car, after a while they can become misaligned, and to correct the alignment you may rotate or shift your tires for a smoother ride (or smile). Many of these misalignments can be corrected with clear aligners. It’s never too late to have the smile of your dreams.

Types of dental malocclusions

Now that you know what a malocclusion is and how it may be caused, let’s learn more about the different types and classes.

Classifying malocclusions¹

There are many different types of malocclusions. Your particular one depends on how your jaw is shaped and how your molars line up. Your Aspen Dental doctor can accurately diagnose yours and provide treatment options.

  • Class 1

    • This classification is the most common and least severe. These occur when your top molars overlap your bottom molars.

  • Class 2

    • Class 2 is diagnosed when there is a severe overbite. Typically, your upper teeth and jaw are more forward than your overlap with your lower teeth and jaw.

  • Class 3

    • This third classification is diagnosed when there is a severe underbite and at times surgery is required to correct.

  • Overbite

    • An overlapping of your front teeth and jaw.

  • Open Bite

    • This occurs when the front teeth do not overlap the lower teeth.

  • Underbite

    • When your lower front teeth are more forward than your upper front teeth.

  • Overjet

    • When the top front teeth extend beyond the lower front teeth horizontally.

  • Crossbite

    • This occurs when your upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth.

Dental malocclusion symptoms¹

You may or may not have any symptoms or feelings of discomfort due to a malocclusion. However, depending on severity of the diagnosis, some symptoms might include:

  • Discomfort when eating

  • Speech difficulties like having a lisp

  • Pain in your jaw

  • Difficulty breathing

¹If you don’t have symptoms but feel you may have a malocclusion, reach out to Aspen Dental for your free scan and diagnosis.

Causes of teeth malocclusions

Misalignments can occur due to various reasons. Some causes may be out of your control, such as using a pacifier or bottle as a child.

  • Sucking your thumb as a child

  • Family history

  • Lack of oral care

  • Tooth loss

  • Impacted teeth

  • Cleft palate

Diagnosing malocclusions

The good news? Motto Aligners can correct all kinds of malocclusions. So don’t worry. Your Aspen Dental doctor can diagnose and create a personalized treatment plan.

What’s next?

Not only can treating malocclusions with our Motto clear aligners boost your confidence, but our Aspen Dental doctors are ready to help you have the smile of your dreams. With routine visits, they can diagnose the type of malocclusion you may have and provide you with a treatment plan to help you accomplish your goals.

Your first step to treating and straightening your smile begins by scheduling your free scan at Motto and working with your Aspen Dental doctor.

Think you may have a malocclusion? Take the Smile Assessment and Book an Appointment today!

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