What is Malocclusion?

The Science Behind Your Bite

woman and dentist examine x-raySimply put, malocclusion means “bad bite”. It occurs when your top and bottom teeth are misaligned and fail to come together properly. The end result? Crowded, crooked teeth that can be left more susceptible to gum disease, sleep issues, and even headaches.

Unless you’re already an ARCH Orthodontics patient, you may have never heard of the term malocclusion. But guess what? Chances are you’re pretty familiar with someone who has it. Data from a National Health and Nutrition survey estimates nearly two-thirds of all Americans are born with malocclusion on some level. This is oftentimes the result of genetics.

Different Types of Bites

We’re going to talk a little bit about the different types of bad bites that are out there. There are actually several different kinds of malocclusions, but these three are generally the most common among patients we treat at ARCH.

  1. Class 1 – There’s a reason why this alignment abnormality is #1. This is, hands down, what we see the most of in treating patients of all ages.  Believe it or not, with this kind of malocclusion, the bite is relatively normal. The jaws actually line up A-OK, but teeth are crowded, spaced unevenly, and can overlap each other. This is where braces of all kinds along with other helpful orthodontic devices are used to work their smile magic.
  2. Class 2  – You may actually be familiar with this class too. It’s commonly called an overbite and characterized by a lower jaw that faces inward more than it should. This causes your top teeth to poke forward.
  3. Class 3 – If the last malocclusion class was an overbite, we bet you can guess what this one will be. That’s right, it’s an underbite! This is when the lower jaw pushes forward more than it should, and then lower teeth overlap the top teeth. This kind of malocclusion usually involves a two-phase treatment.

How Do You Treat Malocclusion?

There are many effective types of orthodontic care available from the ARCH Orthodontics team at all of our nine locations in the greater Boston area. We can use everything from traditional metal braces and Invisalign to surgical orthodontics and a variety of oral appliances to get your bite back on track.

We want everyone to enjoy the confidence you feel when you have a straight smile that looks it’s very best. It’s also important that misaligned teeth are corrected early to decrease your risk of gum disease, to help fight off tooth decay, to make teeth easier to clean and to take alleviate any pain or discomfort. To lessen the likelihood that you will need more costly treatment down the road — malocclusion should be dealt with as early as possible.  

If you’re interested in learning more about how ARCH Orthodontics can help your smile or your kid’s smile become more healthy and straight, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We go out of our way to get your bite right!  

Visit our offices in Bridgewater, Brockton, Randolph, Canton, Westwood, Orleans, Hyannis, Hyde Park, and Stoughton.