Problems To Watch For
Class II Malocclusions
Class II Malocclusions are caused by differences in the jaws or teeth. The lower jaw bone or teeth may not be as developed as the upper jaw, causing an irregular bite known as an overjet. Class II malocclusions can be caused by genetics or environmental factors (such as sucking of thumbs or pacifiers) Treatment consists of moving both the upper and lower jaws and teeth into proper alignment.
Class III Malocclusions
Class III malocclusions or underbites occur when the lower teeth /or jaws protrude further than the upper teeth and jaws. They are usually caused when the lower jaw is stronger or larger than the upper jaw. Patients with class III malocclusions often appear to have an irregularly large protruding lower jaw.
Two types of crossbites occur anterior and posterior. Anterior crossbites occur when the upper incisor or canine teeth sit inside the lower incisor or canine teeth. This may cause irregular chipping or wear of the front teeth and lead to eventual tooth loss.
A posterior crossbite occurs when the upper premolar or molar teeth site inside the lower teeth, which can cause misaligned teeth and jaw growth. Growing patients with anterior or posterior crossbites usually move their jaw forward or to the side when they close their mouth, which can result in improper lower jaw use and can cause facial asymmetry.
Crowding occurs when there is not enough room for the jaws to accommodate all of the teeth. This is a very common occurrence and is very important to correct even in minor cases. Teeth that are crowded may cause periodontal (gum) problems and are harder to clean which may cause tooth loss.
An openbite is when the upper and lower front teeth do not touch or overlap. Open bites may be the result of improper habits such as thumb or pacifier use, or tongue thrusting. It is very important to correct early because it may lead to speech problems and decreased chewing capacity.
Spacing is the opposite of crowding and occurs when there is too much space in the jaws for the teeth. It is important to correct because it can lead to food getting stuck in the gums and tooth loss.