Malocclusion is the technical term for crooked teeth. When you look at all the different ways teeth can come in, it is not surprising that malocclusion presents itself in so many forms. What you might find surprising, however, is minor cases can be treated more easily than ever before.
The number of configurations may surprise you:
When teeth slant forward, it is called upper protrusion. This is often, if unkindly, referred to as “buck teeth.”
An overbite is when the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. An underbite is the opposite – the upper front teeth close farther back than the lower front teeth. An open bite refers to a bite in which the upper teeth don’t overlap the lower. This can occur on the whole bite or just one side.
Tooth rotation is one of the most common types of malocclusion. Rotated teeth appear as if they are twisting out of place. Tooth rotation can create the illusion of uneven coloring because of the way light reflects off the face of teeth.
When the upper and lower palate are offset to the point where the upper teeth close onto the wrong side of the lower teeth, it is called a cross bite.
In some rare cases, teeth erupt in spots where other teeth should be. This is called transposition. A canine (pointed tooth), for example, comes in where an incisor (front biting tooth) should be.
Sometimes people with crooked teeth are too self-conscious to smile, but aesthetics are not the only issue at play. Crooked teeth can increase the chance of tooth decay, tooth damage, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ). Youngsters with crooked teeth may have difficulty learning how to speak, and if they can’t chew their food, they are at risk of becoming malnourished.
If you or your child has crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, we invite you to schedule a thorough examination with OKC Smiles right away. You may be a candidate for Invisalign clear braces. We also provide cosmetic dentistry, which includes Zoom! teeth whitening.
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