Occlusion defines the relationship between the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) jaws and teeth.
Malocclusion is diagnosed and assessed according to the Angle’s classes. The situation between the first permanent molar teeth of upper and lower jaws is assessed (usually they get cut when the child reaches the age of 6).
- Class I. The occlusion is normal and close to perfect.
- Class II. The upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw. The upper front teeth are inclined sideward, forward or inward. The overjet of teeth makes the lower jaw seem retracted and the chin seems small.
- Class III. The upper jaw is set too deep, while the lower jaw is inclined forward too much. Therefore, the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth. It may be difficult to chew and the patient’s chin is protrusive.
Why is malocclusion formed?
The formation of malocclusion may be affected by heredity, genetics, inappropriate dental care, and other reasons.
The malocclusion may be formed because of the following reasons:
- Poor care of milk-teeth,
- Habit to suck something (e.g., thumb) in order to calm down formed in childhood; or the baby’s dummy is used too long
- Irregular breathing, breathing through mouth (e.g., I case of frequent cold or respiratory diseases in childhood)
- Untimely prosthesis in case of early loss or extraction of tooth/teeth. In such cases other teeth also change their position and the occlusion gets deformed.
- Grinding of the teeth (bruxism) caused by stress, tension, etc. The teeth get worn and the occlusion gets deeper and worse.