What is Malocclusion Problem and How to Treat It

Malocclusion Problem

Have you ever felt like your teeth don’t quite fit together the way they should? That’s what we call a malocclusion problem. It sounds fancy, but it just means your bite isn’t quite right. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this blog, we’re going to chat about what exactly a malocclusion problem is and, more importantly, how to fix it. We’ll keep it simple and straightforward, so get ready to explore the world of well-aligned smiles!

What is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is a clinical term used to describe the misalignment of teeth and jaws. When your teeth and jaws don’t fit together properly, it can result in various bite problems. Malocclusion can affect your ability to chew, bite, and speak properly. It can also impact your overall oral health.

Types of Malocclusion

Malocclusion is classified into three main types or classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. Let’s take a closer look at each of these classes.

Class 1 Malocclusion

Class 1 malocclusion, also known as a normal bite, is the mildest form of malocclusion. In this type, the upper teeth slightly overlap the lower teeth. It is the most common type of malocclusion and often does not cause significant problems with your bite. Class 1 malocclusion can be corrected with minor orthodontic treatments.

Class 2 Malocclusion

Class 2 malocclusion, also known as an overbite, occurs when the upper teeth significantly overlap the lower teeth. This type of malocclusion can affect your bite and overall dental health. Class 2 malocclusion is divided into two divisions. In division 1, the upper front teeth protrude over the lower teeth, and in division 2, the upper central incisors lean towards the tongue.

Class 3 Malocclusion

Class 3 malocclusion, also known as an underbite, is a severe form of malocclusion where the lower teeth extend beyond the upper teeth. This type of malocclusion can affect your bite function and facial aesthetics. Class 3 malocclusion is further divided into three types based on the alignment of the teeth.

Common Types of Malocclusion

Apart from the three main classes of malocclusion, there are several common types that can occur. Let’s explore some of these types:


Overcrowding happens when there is not enough space for the teeth to properly align. This can result in overlapping or crooked teeth.


Spacing occurs when there is too much or too little space between the teeth. It can lead to gaps or overcrowding.

Open bite

An open bite is when the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap each other. It can affect biting and chewing. Learn more about open bite treatment in this blog https://dentakay.com/open-bite-causes-solutions-and-treatment-costs/.


Overjet is characterized by the upper front teeth extending horizontally beyond the lower front teeth. It can interfere with normal functions like chewing and speaking.


An overbite is a condition where the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth. It can lead to problems with biting and can cause discomfort.


An underbite occurs when the lower front teeth protrude beyond the upper front teeth. It can affect the alignment of the jaw and cause difficulty in chewing.


Crossbite can happen when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. It can affect both the front and back teeth.


Diastema refers to the space or gap between two adjacent teeth, most commonly seen in the front teeth.

Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to erupt from the gum line properly. It may require extraction or exposure for orthodontic treatment.

Missing Tooth

Missing teeth, also known as hypodontia, can result from trauma or improper tooth development. It can affect the alignment of the remaining teeth.

Causes of Malocclusion

Malocclusion can be caused by various factors, including genetics, habits, and certain conditions. Some common causes of malocclusion include:


Malocclusion can be inherited from parents or other family members.

Thumb Sucking

Prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use can lead to misalignment of teeth and jaws.

Tooth Loss

Missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift, resulting in malocclusion.

Injuries and Trauma

Accidents or injuries to the mouth or jaw can cause malocclusion.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Birth defects like cleft lip or palate can contribute to malocclusion.

Poor Oral Habits

Poor oral habits like tongue thrusting or mouth breathing can affect the alignment of teeth and jaws.

Enlarged Adenoids or Allergies

Airway obstruction caused by enlarged adenoids or allergies can lead to mouth breathing, which can contribute to malocclusion.

Symptoms of Malocclusion

The symptoms of malocclusion can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include:

  • Misaligned teeth or abnormal alignment of teeth.
  • Discomfort when biting or chewing food.
  • Speech problems, such as lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.
  • Difficulty in breathing through the mouth.
  • Frequent biting of the tongue or cheeks.
  • Changes in the facial structure, such as asymmetry or protrusion.

Diagnosing Malocclusion

If you suspect that you or your child may have malocclusion, it is essential to seek a professional diagnosis from a dentist or orthodontist. During a dental visit, the healthcare provider will examine the teeth and mouth to assess the alignment and identify any signs of malocclusion. They may also take X-rays or other imaging tests to get a more detailed view of the teeth and jaws.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children should have an orthodontic check-up by the age of seven. Early detection of malocclusion can help in planning appropriate treatment at the right time.

Treatment of Malocclusion

The treatment options for malocclusion depend on the type and severity of the condition. Orthodontic treatment is generally recommended to correct malocclusion and achieve proper alignment of the teeth and jaws. Here are some common treatment methods:


Braces are a tried and true method for treating malocclusion. They consist of brackets and wires that apply gentle pressure to gradually move the teeth into the correct position. Braces can be made of metal, ceramic, or lingual (placed on the back of the teeth) depending on the patient’s preference and the severity of the malocclusion.

Removable Devices

Removable orthodontic devices, such as retainers and headgears, are often used in conjunction with braces or as standalone treatments for mild malocclusion. Retainers help maintain the alignment achieved through braces, while headgears exert pressure on specific areas of the jaw to correct bite problems.


Invisalign is a popular alternative to traditional braces for treating malocclusion. It consists of a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-made to fit over the teeth. Invisalign aligners are almost invisible, making them a discreet option. They need to be worn for 20-22 hours a day and are removable for eating and oral hygiene.

Jaw Surgery

In severe cases of malocclusion, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying skeletal problems. This option is usually considered when the misalignment is significant and cannot be fully corrected with braces or other orthodontic treatments alone. Jaw surgery may be combined with orthodontic treatment to achieve the best possible results.

The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the complexity of the malocclusion and the individual’s response to treatment. Regular follow-up visits with the orthodontist are essential to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Preventing Malocclusion

While some causes of malocclusion, such as genetics, cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk or severity of malocclusion:

  • Encourage proper oral habits in children, such as avoiding thumb sucking or pacifier use beyond an appropriate age.
  • Practice good oral hygiene and seek prompt treatment for any tooth loss or dental problems.
  • Seek orthodontic treatment at an early age if malocclusion runs in the family or if there are signs of misalignment.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, to promote proper jaw development.


Malocclusion is a common dental problem that can affect people of all ages. It is essential to understand the different types, causes, and treatment options to address malocclusion effectively. If you suspect that you or your child may have malocclusion, consult with our team of dentists at Dentakay. We can provide a thorough evaluation and recommend the appropriate treatment plan. With advances in orthodontics, malocclusion can be successfully treated, leading to improved oral health and a confident smile.

Devin Haney

Hi there! This is Devin Haney. I am a Freelancer. I love to Blogging. I would love to connect with everyone here. On relaxing Sunday afternoon you will find me.