A malocclusion of teeth is a common orthodontic problem that can be corrected with dental braces. You most likely know a malocclusion of teeth as an overbite or underbite. At some point during your grade school years, you probably even used the term “buck teeth.”
There are three main classifications of malocclusions, a class I malocclusion, a class II malocclusion and a class III malocclusion. Here is a description of each:
Class I Malocclusion— In this form, the bite is normal, but the teeth are crooked or crowded. This can make it difficult to brush and floss properly, leading to other dental problems.
Class II Malocclusion— Often referred to as an overbite, a class II malocclusion happens when the top teeth greatly protrude beyond the bottom teeth. This is usually the result of a large top jaw or small bottom jaw, and it causes the front teeth to have a “buck teeth” appearance.
Class III Malocclusion— A class III malocclusion is an underbite and results when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. In this situation the bottom jaw is often too large, or vice versa.
Dental braces are the conventional treatment for malocclusions. In extreme circumstances, oral surgery may be necessary to repair an over- or underbite. Although adults can receive treatment for malocclusions, it is easier to correct in children and teens. As their jaws are still developing, teeth are easier to move.