Dental Problems

Malocclusion of Teeth – Diagnosis and Treatment of Malocclusion of Teeth

Malocclusion of Teeth is a condition where there is misalignment between the teeth of two dental arches. The word Malocclusion refers to the manner in which one dental arch meets the opposing arch. A typical malocclusion appears as shown in the figure. In this article, we shall know how malocclusion is diagnosed and treated with a brief note on the causes of malocclusion.

Diagnosis of Malocclusion of teeth :

Teeth Examination

Classification of malocclusion is a type of differential diagnosis of malocclusion. A dentist can discover most of the problems associated with teeth alignment during a routine examination of the teeth.

During the examination the dentist asks the patient to pull cheek outwards. He asks the patient to bite down to check how teeth come together. If he notices any difference he goes for further diagnosis of the condition.


Dental X-rays, skull or head X-rays may be required for exact diagnosis of the condition.

Treatment of Malocclusion

Malocclusion may range from minor to severe. Very less people have exact alignment of teeth. But most of them are so minor that they do not require any treatment. Malocclusion is treated by an orthodontist.

Positioning the teeth

The goal of treatment is to correct the positioning of the teeth. Braces may be recommended. Metal bands, or plastic or ceramic bonds are attached to the teeth surface. Wires or springs are also used.

Orthodontic procedures

If there is crowding of the teeth, orthodontics treatment is opted. Tooth extraction, dental braces and growth modification are some of the ways in orthodontic treatment.


Jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is done in extreme cases of malocclusion.

Causes of malocclusion

Malocclusion is mostly hereditary. Overcrowding of the teeth can also result in malocclusion. Birth defects such as cleft lip and palate can cause malocclusion. Abnormal teeth conditions such as impacted teeth, extra teeth, lost teeth or abnormally shaped teeth may lead to malocclusion. Injury or trauma to the jaws and tumors of mouth and jaw may give rise to typical malocclusion.

You can get more information about the classification, symptoms and causes of malocclusion in related articles on this site.

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