Learning the Basics of Malocclusions 

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One of the most common issues a given orthodontist sees on a regular basis is a malocclusion, or misaligned teeth. These issues can often be resolved with braces, but if left for too long, they can lead to several negative complications. 

At St. John’s Orthodontics, we have both the expertise to identify these issues early and the affordable braces to help you deal with them if they crop up. Let’s look at all the basics you need to know about malocclusion.  

Malocclusion Types and Classifications 

Malocclusion can refer to a few different things, including twisting or rotating of the teeth or molars that aren’t properly aligned. It could designate a case where top teeth don’t align properly with bottom teeth during biting, or when teeth protrude from gums in a place where another tooth should be. In essence, this is a very broad category.  

There are three specific classifications for a bite or misalignment issue: 

  • Class 1 malocclusion: When the bite is mostly normal, but the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth just slightly. This is the most common malocclusion type. 
  • Class 2 malocclusion: When the upper teeth and jaw severely overlap the both teeth and jaw. Also called overbite or retrognathism.  
  • Class 3 malocclusion: When the lower teeth and jaw overlap the upper teeth and jaw, also called underbite or prognathism.  


In most cases, malocclusion will be caused by genetics and family history. They can also be brought on by teeth that develop abnormally, or teeth that are impacted or lost due to trauma. In addition, behaviors like thumb-sucking as child may lead to a higher risk of malocclusion, as may issues like fillings or crowns that are fitted badly or a tumor developing in the mouth or jaw.  

Getting it Treated 

In most cases, braces will be the first choice for treatment of malocclusion. This will not only improve the look of your smile, but will also make your teeth healthier and simpler to clean and maintain.  

For more on avoiding or treating malocclusion, or to learn about any of our affordable braces options, speak to the staff at St. John’s Orthodontics today.  

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