Skip to main content

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Even Minor Alignment Issues

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Even Minor Alignment Issues

The medical name for a misaligned bite is malocclusion, and it’s a common dental problem. You may have also heard malocclusion called crowded teeth, crossbite, overbite, underbite, or open bite. Each of these issues can lead to complications if left untreated. 

Dr. Stephen Hiroshige and his staff are dedicated to helping you enjoy the best oral health possible. We often see patients who have malocclusion but don’t realize it’s a problem or that Invisalign® is an effective way to treat a misaligned bite and prevent future problems. 

Types of alignment problems

There are several different reasons for malocclusion, and most of them are quite common. For example, your teeth may be too large for your jawbone, and so they may be crowded together. When that happens, your upper teeth and lower teeth don’t meet properly. 

In some cases, your jaws don’t align correctly from birth. In other instances, alignment is simply the result of having crooked teeth. 

Classes of malocclusion

Malocclusion is categorized by type and severity. There are three classes. 

Class 1 

This is the most common class of alignment issues. When you have Class 1 malocclusion, your upper molars overlap your lower molars, and your teeth are either crowded or spaced too far apart. Your bite is normal in Class 1 malocclusion, and it isn’t considered severe. 

Class 2

Class 2 malocclusion is a severe overbite. Your upper teeth and jaw overlap your lower teeth and jaw significantly. Your lower jaw may be smaller than normal, causing the overbite. 

Class 3

The opposite of Class 2 malocclusion, Class 3 is a severe underbite, in which your lower teeth overlap your upper teeth, and your lower jaw juts forward. 

Problems that result from malocclusion

A host of dental health issues can result from malalignment. For example, you may be more prone to tooth decay if your malocclusion is caused by crooked teeth because it’s difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth. Malalignment can also lead to tiny fractures in your enamel, which can also cause tooth decay. 

Malocclusion can also impact how you speak and chew. If you’ve had this problem your whole life, you may not realize it’s a problem, but correcting it could allow you to speak more clearly or to chew your food more thoroughly. 

Some people suffer lower self-esteem because of malocclusion. You may unconsciously avoid social situations, or you may simply be unhappy with how you look. 

Correcting malocclusion

In many cases, malocclusion can be corrected using Invisalign aligners. Invisalign can be a great alternative to traditional braces. You wear your aligners for 22 hours per day, removing them to eat and to clean your teeth. Most people get a new set of aligners every two weeks. 

If you’d like to find out if Invisalign is an option for correcting your malocclusion, schedule an appointment for an evaluation with Dr. Hiroshige. You may be able to avoid future problems and enjoy the smile you’ve always dreamed of having! 

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Eat (and Avoid) After Professional Teeth Whitening

What to Eat (and Avoid) After Professional Teeth Whitening

When you decide to invest in yourself and get your teeth professionally whitened, then you’re delighted with the results, you want to do what you can to keep that bright, beautiful smile looking great. What you eat can make a huge difference.
How To Adjust Your Dentures with Ease

How To Adjust Your Dentures with Ease

You’ve recently gotten dentures and are excited about showing off your new smile. Getting used to wearing dentures, though, can take some time and adjustment. We’ve put together this list of tips that may help. 
5 Telltale Signs of a Tooth Infection

5 Telltale Signs of a Tooth Infection

No one likes a toothache, and it can be difficult to know if you’re just experiencing some sensitivity or if there’s a more serious problem like an infection. In this post, we offer five signs that often indicate you have an infected tooth.
Signs It’s Time for an Invisalign Touch Up

Signs It’s Time for an Invisalign Touch Up

You invested in yourself and your smile when you got Invisalign, and you love the results! Except, lately, your teeth like they might be shifting back to where they were before you had aligners. What should you do?
Crowns vs Bridges: How Are They Different?

Crowns vs Bridges: How Are They Different?

If you have one or more missing teeth, replacing them is a good idea, but your options can be confusing. In this post, we discuss two popular forms of tooth replacement: crowns and bridges.