Malocclusion: Types, Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

It occurs when upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly, resulting in an incorrect bite. This misalignment can occur in various ways, such as overcrowding, overbite, underbite, or crossbite.

Left untreated, it can lead to jaw pain (TMJ), discomfort, and difficulty in opening or closing the mouth. It can also lead to gum disease, difficulty in biting or chewing food, and speech difficulties.

What is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion, or bad bite, is a common dental issue that affects both adults and children. It occurs when the upper and lower teeth, do not properly align. It can range from mild cases of crooked or misaligned front teeth to extreme cases involving severe overbites or underbites. Symptoms of can include difficulty speaking and eating. In addition, it can also cause gum disease, abnormal wear on tooth enamel (worn down teeth), headaches, jaw or facial pain (teeth grinding).

Treatment typically involves using braces or other oral appliances to bring the teeth into alignment. But, in more sever cases, surgery may be the only option. No matter what type of treatment you might need, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. That’s because early detection and diagnosis is key to a successful treatment since the severity typically worsens with age. For this reason, make sure work with a dentist who understands this issue.

Malocclusion: Causes

Consequences of Untreated Malocclusion Excessive Tooth Wear
Consequences of Untreated Malocclusion Excessive Tooth Wear

Multiple factors can contribute to the development of dental malocclusion. Some common causes include:

  • Genetics
  • Thumb Sucking
  • Premature Loss of  Teeth
  • Jaw Injuries
  • Dental Restorations

Genetic factors play a significant role in determining the shape and size of our jaws, as well as the positioning of our teeth.

Habits like thumb sucking or excessive pacifier use can impact the proper alignment of teeth and jaw growth.

In addition to this, losing baby teeth too early can disrupt the eruption pattern of permanent teeth, leading to malocclusion.

And, trauma to the jaw can alter the alignment of teeth and affect the bite. Finally, poorly fitted dental fillings, crowns, or bridges can contribute to malocclusion over time.

Consequences of Untreated Malocclusion

Consequences of Untreated Malocclusion Gum Recession
Consequences of Untreated Malocclusion Gum Recession

Malocclusion can range from mild to severe and can cause a wide array of uncomfortable symptoms, including:

The impact of malocclusion on oral health can be significant. It can lead to difficulties in chewing and biting, speech problems, and even psychological issues such as self-esteem and confidence.

Additionally, malocclusion can contribute to the development of other dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). Therefore, early detection (TMJ evaluation) and appropriate treatment of malocclusion are crucial in maintaining good oral health.

Treatments for malocclusion vary depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases surgery may be required in order to correct the problem.

No matter what type of treatment you undergo, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible in order to ensure that your teeth will stay healthy and strong.

Benefits of Treatment

Fortunately, there are several effective treatments available for dental malocclusion, offering numerous benefits. Correcting malocclusion reduces the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and TMJ disorders by ensuring better oral hygiene practices. Treatment can align teeth, improving the appearance of your smile and boosting self-confidence.

Properly aligned teeth and jaws improve bite functionality, allowing for more effective chewing, speaking, and overall oral function. Correcting malocclusion can prevent excessive tooth wear, fractures, and damage caused by a misaligned bite. By addressing it early, you can help prevent more complex dental issues in the future.


To prevent further damage to your teeth, contact a dentist like Dr. Bernie Villadiego. His goal is to restore harmony to the joints, teeth, and muscles, which can help alleviate pain, eliminate unnecessary wear and tear, and other issues that can arise from an unstable bite.