Orthodontic problems - Teeth malocclusionsMost of us have some form of bad bite problem even if it might affect just one misplaced tooth. A mild misalignment of the teeth (malocclusion) causes no medical or functional problems and little cosmetic concern, while severe teeth malocclusions may cause a number of problems not only functional or health related, but also psychological ones. In these cases, the malocclusion problems need to be treated by an orthodontist.
The different types of malocclusion
Common bite irregularities include:
Class I malocclusion — Upper and lower jaws line up correctly but your teeth are crooked, crowded, turned, or spaced apart
Crowding — when teeth are placed too close together and overlapping. The condition occurs when teeth are unusually large or if the jaw is smaller than normal, so that the permanent teeth may not have enough space to move into the right position or even to erupt at all (impacted teeth).
Spacing — when there are large and uneven spaces between the teeth. Gapped teeth are usually caused by missing teeth or smaller than normal teeth in relation to the size of the jaw.
Rotation — when a tooth turns or tips out of its normal position.
Transposition — when a tooth erupts in one another's place.
Overbite (Class II malocclusion) — when the upper front teeth overlap excessively over the lower teeth. In some cases, the biting edges of the upper teeth touch the lower front gum tissue or the lower teeth bite into the roof of the mouth.
Underbite (Class III malocclusion) — when the lower front teeth are positioned forward of the upper front teeth
Crossbite — A crossbite occurs when any or all of the upper teeth are positioned significantly inside or outside the lower teeth. A crossbite can cause chewing problems.
Open bite — when the upper and lower front teeth don't meet, creating an opening on one or both sides of the mouth. Because the front teeth don't share equally in the biting force, the condition may lead to premature wear of the back teeth.
Misplaced midline — when the front center line between the upper front teeth doesn't match up with the center line of the lower front teeth.
Overjet – when the upper front teeth angle horizontally outwards (horizontal). This type of malocclusion is usually referred as “buck teeth”
Angle's classification of malocclusion
Edward Hartley Angle was an American orthodontist (1855-1930) who first made the classification of the various types of malocclusion. The classification is based on where the buccal groove of the mandibular first molar contacts the mesiobuccal cusp of the maxillary first molar:
- on the cusp (Class I, neutroclusion, or normal occlusion)
- distal to the cusp by at least the width of a premolar (Class II, distocclusion) or
- mesial to the cusp (Class III, mesiocclusion).
Each class contains two or more types or divisions.