What is a Malocclusion?

As a leading orthodontist in Rhode Island offering a variety of treatment options for kids, teens, and adults, Dr. Jaffe routinely improves smiles by correctly aligning the teeth. A malocclusion, which is often called a “bad bite” refers to the misalignment of the teeth. In other words, when there is a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close, a malocclusion is present.

You can be born with a malocclusion, wherein your teeth simply grew in crooked or the misalignment or crowding of your teeth can occur over a period of time. Either way, a malocclusion can pose cosmetic issues and negatively affect how clearly you pronounce words, chew food and how thoroughly you’re able to clean your teeth.

Types of Malocclusions

There are many types of malocclusions including:

  •      Open bites
  •      Crossbites
  •      Underbites
  •      Overbites
  •      Crowded teeth
  •      Gapped teeth

Diagnosing and Classifying Malocclusions

When you visit our Barrington orthodontist for the first time, you will be provided with a thorough examination to determine if your teeth are properly aligned. If a malocclusion is detected, Dr. Jaffe will classify it by its type and severity. There are three classes of malocclusion which are:

Class 1: A Class 1 malocclusion is diagnosed when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. This is the most common classification of a malocclusion, in which the bite is typically normal and the overlap is slight.

Class 2: A Class 2 malocclusion is diagnosed when a severe overbite is present. This means that the upper teeth and jaw significantly overlap the lower teeth and jaw.

Class 3: If there is a severe underbite present, it is diagnosed as a Class 3 malocclusion. In this condition, the lower jaw protrudes forward, causing the lower teeth to overlap the upper teeth and jaw.

What Causes Malocclusions?

The most common cause of a malocclusion is genetics. However, there may be other causes including:

  •      The development of abnormally-shaped teeth
  •      Missing or lost teeth
  •      Impacted teeth
  •      An undesirable oral habit like thumb sucking
  •      Improperly fitting fillings or crowns
  •      Serious injuries
  •      Tumors of the mouth or jaw

Treating Malocclusions

Malocclusions are often why people visit our Barrington orthodontist. Dr. Jaffe treats malocclusions using several types of orthodontic appliances such as self-ligating metal braces, clear ceramic braces, and Invisalign aligners. Orthodontic treatment can do much more than just make your smile look more attractive as it can also lower your risk for tooth decay and gum disease and improve the health of your jaw.

Contact Your Local Orthodontist At Barrington Or Portsmouth Today!

If you suspect that you or your child has a malocclusion, we encourage you to set up your first visit with Dr. Jaffe today! With two offices in Barrington and Portsmouth, RI, we make it very convenient to improve the appearance and health of your smile. To schedule an appointment at our Barrington office, please call (401) 245-2626. To schedule an appointment at our Portsmouth office, please call (401) 293-5555. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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