A Patient’s Guide to Oral Malocclusions

July 30, 2013

Malocclusion is a general term that refers to a variety of bite problems. The type of malocclusion you have dictates the choices your orthodontist makes about your treatment. Malocclusions are rated for severity using a three-class system, with Class III malocclusions being the worst. Although there are many different types malocclusions, these are some of the most common.

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Upper Protrusion
Upper protrusions are sometimes referred to as buck teeth. This bite problem is characterized by upper, front teeth that extend too far outward. Sometimes upper protrusions are actually a sign of a lower jaw that is too small. In other cases, long-term thumb sucking and pacifier use can cause the upper palate to change shape, forcing the teeth forwards. Note that this condition is different from another, similar malocclusion called an overbite. With an overbite, the front teeth are pushed forward, but instead of extending outward, they clamp down too far over the lower teeth, forcing those teeth into the roof of the mouth.

Open Bite
If your upper and lower front teeth don’t overlap at all, then you have an open bite. The molars line up in people with open bites, but the misalignment between the upper and lower front teeth means that there is an open space between the front teeth when teeth are clenched together. In some cases, open bites are only present on one side of the mouth, and in other case, open bites appear on both sides.

Underbites are similar to upper protrusions, but they involve the lower teeth. With an underbite, the lower teeth extend outward beyond the upper teeth. This kind of bite forces the lower jaw forward.

At Seligman Orthodontics , Dr. David Seligman can treat all kinds of malocclusions to help you get the gorgeous, healthy smile you want. Make an appointment at our Park Avenue office to find out why we are one of the top-rated orthodontic offices in the city. You can schedule your consultation today by calling (646) 681-8516.

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