A malocclusion is an uneven position of the teeth when your jaw is closed. This can cause not only cosmetic concerns but oral health concerns as well if it is left untreated. There are different levels of malocclusions that range from class one to class three. In minor cases, you may not require treatment unless you request it, whereas more severe cases can make functioning and caring for your teeth difficult, requiring treatment.

To help you better understand what malocclusion is and what causes it, King Orthodontics has put together a guide on malocclusions and treatment options.

What Causes a Malocclusion?

There are serval causes for a malocclusion, including:

Childhood Dental Care

How teeth are cared for at a young age can affect whether or not a malocclusion occurs. Childhood habits such as thumb-sucking can have a negative effect on tooth alignment, particularly if the habit lasts past the age of three or four.

Good oral care habits at a young age can help minimize the risk of malocclusion.

Extra Teeth

In some cases, malocclusion is caused by extra teeth in the mouth, also called hyperdontia. This condition can increase the risk of malocclusion. Other complications such as lost teeth, impacted thee, or abnormally shaped teeth can also result in malocclusion.

Hereditary Condition

In many cases, malocclusion is a hereditary condition, meaning there is a family history of malocclusions that increases your risk. In other instances, a person may have an uneven upper and lower level jaw, which causes an underbite, overbites, or another form of malocclusion. This means that misalignment is a hereditary condition.

Jaw Misalignment

In many cases, patients who have malocclusions have jaw misalignment rather than crooked teeth. As mentioned above, these cases are hereditary, meaning no life event has caused the misalignment. In other cases, injury can lead to malocclusion, especially if treatment is not performed following the injury to ensure proper healing of the jaw. If treatment to heal the jaw properly is not administered, corrective jaw surgery may be needed.

How are Malocclusions Treated at King Orthodontics?

Braces and Invisalign

At King Orthodontics, we can treat malocclusions with treatments such as braces and clear aligners. Braces and Invisalign are popular treatments for malocclusions. These treatments will each straighten the misaligned tooth/teeth, moving them into the correct positions for ideal alignment.

To achieve this, Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to move the teeth into the desired postin, whereas braces use brackets and wires that are placed on each tooth to move them into position.

Will I Need Tooth Extraction?

In some cases, we may need to extract one or more teeth as part of your orthodontic treatment plan. If you have overcrowding or your jaw is not large enough to accommodate the shifting of your teeth, we will need to perform a tooth extraction.

When is Jaw Surgery Needed?

For more severe cases, orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery may be the best option. With jaw surgery, we are able to address jaw malocclusions rather than misaligned teeth. Keep in mind that jaw malocclusions can cause misaligned teeth, so the two can be interconnected. Jaw surgery is typically done when it is the only viable option.

Schedule an Appointment at King Orthodontics!

To learn more about malocclusions and your treatment options, contact us today!