Having a brilliant smile is a blessing. 

However, not everyone is blessed with straight, perfectly-aligned white teeth. Anyone who falls into this category may suffer from a condition known as malocclusion, which occurs when there is a misalignment between the teeth that is especially apparent when the jaws close. 

If you have crooked or misaligned teeth, read on to learn more about this condition, and how KingTown Dental can help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

Types of Malocclusion

There are many benefits to having a good smile. 

It can help you make a great first impression, it projects an air of health and confidence to those around you (beneficial in both personal and professional contexts), and a great smile can even make you look younger, since doing so naturally pulls facial muscles upward, lifting sagging areas and acting as a kind of natural facelift.

However, if you have misaligned teeth, also known as a malocclusion, you might find yourself smiling less. In some cases, this condition is known as “crowded teeth,” a “crossbite,” an “underbite” or an “overbite.” 

Malocclusion can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Genetics (being passed down from your mother or father)
  • Impacted teeth (such as wisdom teeth)
  • Hyper or Hypodontia (extra or missing teeth)
  • Gingivitis (gum disease)
  • Over-use of a bottle in childhood
  • Sucking thumb (or over-use of pacifier past age 4)

The negative effects of a malocclusion will vary, and can range from speech problems, mouth-breathing, discomfort when chewing or biting, frequent biting of the inner cheeks, etc. Depending on the specific type of malocclusion you have, you’ll be classified as having one of three major types:

  1. Class 1: This is when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth slightly. It is the most common type of malocclusion. 
  2. Class 2: When there is a severe overbite due to a significant overlap by the upper teeth. Also known as retrognathism
  3. Class 3: When there is a severe underbite, so much so that the lower jaw protrudes forward. Also known as prognathism.

Effects of Malocclusion

Not all the positive effects of a great smile will be aesthetic, there are some practical benefits to having properly aligned teeth as well. 

Straighter teeth perform biting, chewing and speaking functions more effectively. A malocclusion also makes it harder to maintain good oral health, and can put extra pressure on certain teeth and muscles, leading to possible strains and breakages. 

How Do I Fix a Malocclusion?

The most common solution to a malocclusion is a braces. While there are a variety of braces on the market (including Invisalign) they all work the same way, by gradually shifting the teeth into better alignment. The timeline for a realignment is typically about 12 to 18 months. 

That said, since there are many variations of crooked teeth, the timeline will vary depending on your particular situation. For minor malocclusions, sometimes retainers are best. In other cases, particularly for adults, you can get veneers, which are a form of cosmetic dentistry that make the teeth appear straighter rather than actually changing the position of the teeth.

In other cases, especially those involving overcrowded teeth, the removal of teeth is an option. Dentists can also reshape teeth to correct overcrowding, as well as engage in surgery to reshape the jaw if necessary. 

Visit KingTown Dental Today!

For many people, a misaligned bite is just a part of everyday life. But it doesn’t have to be! 

If you have a form of malocclusion, we highly encourage you to call or visit the experts at KingTown Dental. At our family friendly clinic, you’ll be welcomed into a relaxing, caring environment where our professionals will be glad to discuss any dental issues on your mind. 

With our help, we’ll create a plan that makes sense for you, helping you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Our goal is to surpass your expectations, so contact us today and find out why so many people trust KingTown Dental!