Three Convenient Locations!

Luminous Dental AZ
Mesa Dentistry

40615 North Gantzel Road
Suite B105

San Tan Valley, AZ 85140

(480) 784-3327

East Mesa Office
(Corner of Ellsworth Rd & Baseline Rd)
Mesa Dentistry

9061 E. Baseline Road
Suite B103

Mesa, AZ 85209

(480) 380-3737

Mesa Office
(NW Corner of Country Club Road & 60)
Mesa Dentistry

1440 South Country Club Drive
Suite 23

Mesa, AZ 85210

(480) 461-3400

Diseases of the Oral Cavity

Malocclusion

Malocclusion means the teeth are not aligned properly.

Causes

Occlusion refers to the alignment of teeth and the way that the upper and lower teeth fit together (bite). Ideally, all upper teeth fit slightly over the lower teeth. The points of the molars fit the grooves of the opposite molar.

The upper teeth keep the cheeks and lips from being bitten and the lower teeth protect the tongue.

Malocclusion is most often hereditary, which means the condition is passed down through families. There may be a difference between the size of the upper and lower jaws or between jaw and tooth size, resulting in overcrowding of teeth or in abnormal bite patterns.

Variations in size or structure of either jaw may affect its shape, as can birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. Other causes of malocclusion include:

There are different categories of malocclusion.

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Most problems with teeth alignment are discovered by a dentist during a routine exam. The dentist may pull your cheek outward and ask you to bite down to check how well your back teeth come together. If there is any problem, the dentist will usually refer you to an orthodontist for diagnosis and treatment.

Dental x-rays, head or skull x-rays or facial x-rays may be required. Plaster or plastic molds of the teeth are often needed.

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