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Malocclusion of teeth

  • Alternative Names

    Crowded teeth; Misaligned teeth; Crossbite; Overbite; Underbite; Open bite

    • Abnormal alignment of teeth
    • Abnormal appearance of the face
    • Difficulty or discomfort when biting or chewing
    • Speech difficulties (rare) including lisp
    • Mouth breathing (breathing through the mouth without closing the lips)

    Signs 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.