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What Is Malocclusion?

You may have heard the word before at your dentist, but have you ever wondered what malocclusion actually is? The word malocclusion means "bad bite," and it refers to the way the teeth and jaw fit together when the mouth is closed. If things don't fit correctly, this is considered malocclusion. It can lead to pain in the jaw, teeth, ears, head and more. It can even lead to tooth loss and other complications depending on the severity and the impact the position of the jaw has on each tooth.

What Causes Malocclusion?

Dr. Buck believes malocclusion is a result of our modern-day lifestyle and diet choices, which often leave us exposed to foreign chemicals, additives and sugars. This causes allergic and inflammatory responses in the body that lead to nasal congestion and in turn mouth breathing, which affects jaw growth during development.

Other factors that can contribute to malocclusion include genetics, lost teeth, impacted teeth, thumb sucking, abnormally shaped teeth, dental restorations that were not done correctly, injury to the jaw or teeth, and tumors of the mouth or jaw.

Malocclusion Classifications

There are actually several classifications of malocclusion.

-Malocclusion Class 1

This class of misalignment of the bite is the most common and occurs when the upper teeth just slightly overlap the lower teeth.

-Malocclusion Class 2

You've likely heard this class of malocclusion called an "overbite," or retrognathism. This is when the upper teeth and jaw severely overlap the lower teeth and jaw.

-Malocclusion Class 3

This class of malocclusion is commonly referred to as an "underbite." When the lower teeth and jaw overlap the upper teeth and jaw, it is considered a class 3 malocclusion.

How is Malocclusion Treated?

Dr. Buck treats malocclusion using a philosophy that integrates the airway and proper breathing along with jaw growth therapy and orthodontics. Each patient requires an individualized plan based on their own needs.

For any questions on malocclusion or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buck, call us today at Balance Epigenetic Orthodontics at 206-316-8286.

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