What is a Malocclusion?

At Blooming Smiles, we’re proud to be a leading San Fernando Valley pediatric dentistry and orthodontics practice that’s committed to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health! Our Northridge & Woodland Hills orthodontist, Dr. Sanjideh, routinely provides treatment for a range of orthodontic problems including malocclusions. If you don’t know what a malocclusion is, don’t feel bad as it’s an orthodontic term many people are unfamiliar with. That’s why we’ve decided to use this post to explain what malocclusions are and how they’re treated.

The Definition of a Malocclusion

The term ‘occlusion’ refers to the alignment of teeth and the way the upper and lower teeth fit together (bite). In a perfect smile, all the upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points of the molars fit the grooves of the opposite molars. A malocclusion refers to the irregular contact between the upper and lower teeth. Also known as a “bad” or “improper” bite, a malocclusion can present itself in numerous ways including as an overbite, crossbite, under bite or open bite.

What Causes a Malocclusion?

Most often, malocclusions are hereditary, meaning that the condition is passed down through families. But when genetics are not to blame, malocclusions can be caused by:

  • Childhood habits like thumb sucking, extended pacifier use, tongue-thrusting or the prolonged use of a bottle
  • Extra teeth, missing teeth, impacted teeth, or teeth that are shaped abnormally
  • Poorly-fitting dental fillings and other restorations
  • Severe injuries to the teeth or jaw
  • Tumors of the jaw or mouth

Different Categories of Malocclusions

When Our Woodland Hills & Northridge orthodontist detects a malocclusion, he will classify it in one of three ways:

Class I Malocclusion: This is the most common category of malocclusions wherein the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth.

Class II Malocclusion: Also called an overbite, a Class II malocclusion occurs when the upper jaw and teeth overlap the lower jaw and teeth.

Class III Malocclusion: Also called an underbite, a Class III malocclusion occurs when the lower jaw juts forward, causing the lower jaw and teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth.

How Malocclusions Are Treated

Orthodontic care at Blooming Smiles with Dr. Sanjideh is the main treatment available for malocclusions. This treatment involves wearing braces, Invisalign aligners or other orthodontic appliances. Treating a malocclusion will result in a more attractive smile and one that’s healthier too! When the teeth are aligned properly, it’s much easier to maintain good oral hygiene to lower the risk for developing common problems with the teeth and gums like tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Contact Your Woodland Hills Orthodontist

If you suspect that you (or your child) has a malocclusion, we encourage you to ask for an appointment with us today! During your first orthodontic visit with us, Dr. Sanjideh will examine your teeth, jaw, and bite to determine the status of your overall orthodontic health. If he does determine that you could benefit from treatment, he will recommend the most appropriate treatment that both meets your orthodontic needs and matches your lifestyle. We look forward to seeing you in our Northridge or Woodland Hills office soon!

Northridge
Pediatric Dentistry

19240 Nordhoff St.
Northridge
CA 91324
818-727-1800
Mon-Fri: 9AM-6PM
Sat: 9AM-2PM
Book Now

Northridge
Orthodontics

19240 Nordhoff St.
Northridge
CA 91324
818-727-1800
Mon-Fri: 9AM-6PM
Sat: 9AM-2PM
Book Now

Woodland Hills
Pediatric Dentistry

20968 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills
CA 91364
818-727-1800
Mon-Fri: 9AM-6PM
Sat: 9AM-2PM
Book Now

Woodland Hills
Orthodontics

20968 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills
CA 91364
818-727-1800
Mon-Fri: 9AM-6PM
Sat: 9AM-2PM
Book Now