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What Are The Most Common Malocclusions?

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In an ideal mouth, there should be a slight overlap concerning how the upper jaw rests on the lower jaw. However, when there's either a greater than normal under bite or overbite, the condition is referred to as a malocclusion, or a situation where the teeth are not aligned properly. A malocclusion is often hereditary in nature, and aside from an abnormal bite, it can also lead to an overcrowded mouth. While some malocclusions require treatment to correct, others are so minor in nature that they don't require any sort of corrective treatment. Aside from lineage, some other factors that lead to malocclusion include facial injury, prolonged childhood pacifier use, childhood thumb sucking and tumors in the mouth, however often times malocclusions aren't preventable. 

Now that you know a little bit about malocclusions, we thought it would be fitting to take a look at the most common types that dentists see. Here's a closer look:

The Most Common Malocclusions

There are three main classes of malocclusions:

  • Class 1: These are the most common types of malocclusions, characterized as a situation where the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower ones on an otherwise normal bite. 
  • Class 2: This type of malocclusion consists of an overbite. An overbite is when the upper jaw and the upper teeth abnormally overlap the lower jaw and teeth. 
  • Class 3: This class of malocclusion consists of an under bite. An under bite occurs when the lower jaw and lower teeth overlap the upper jaw and the upper teeth.

Treating Malocclusion

As we noted in the opening, some cases of malocclusion are so minor that individuals will never elect to seek any corrective treatment. However, in the case of moderate to severe Class 1, 2 and 3 malocclusions, corrective treatment is often the best course of action. Malocclusions are commonly treated with orthodontics, which may include:

  • Braces
  • Teeth removal
  • Retainers or oral splints
  • Surgery

While surgery is usually a last resort option when it comes to treatment, it's worth noting that the other three treatments - braces, tooth extraction and retainers/oral splints - may also be administered simultaneously to complement one another. 

The benefits of having a malocclusion treated extend beyond just attaining a proper bite. Treatment can also make the teeth easier to clean with a toothbrush, which can lead to better overall oral care and also minimize the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay. Having malocclusions treated can also limit strain that is placed on the jaw and teeth, thereby reducing the likelihood of broken or chipped teeth as well as issues with the TMJ. 

For more information on the causes of, most common types and treatment methods for malocclusions, contact Caven Dental today.

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