Ideally, the teeth in a healthy jaw are symmetrically arranged and both jaws are the same size: the teeth do not overlap and there are no larger gaps between the teeth. With your mouth closed, your teeth should be exactly on top of each other.
However, very few people have such ideal teeth, according to relevant statistics only one in twenty. For most people, either individual teeth are wrong or the entire jaw is misaligned. However, not every jaw misalignment requires treatment; treatment is only indicated if there are problems with chewing (which is essential for chopping food), the person is visually impaired or muscle tension in the jaw joint and in the shoulder and neck area is the result are. The latter can lead to frequent headaches, migraines and serious concentration problems. The same applies if a misaligned jaw causes mouth breathing, which in turn can lead to health problems such as an increased susceptibility to infections.
There are both genetic reasons for jaw misalignment and external influences that can make the difference. It is now known that the lower jaw, in particular, is often genetically determined, while the upper jaw can be changed unfavorably mainly by certain habits and consequently shows an undesirable development. Some diseases can also cause misalignments of the teeth and jaw. The most common are the congenital cleft lip and palate, Down syndrome (trisomy 21) or a malformed skeleton due to a rare hereditary disease called dysostosis cleidocranial is. On the other hand, unfavorable habits that can have an influence are thumb sucking or the too long and too frequent use of a jaw-unfriendly pacifier or poorly shaped children’s bottles.
But what are the most typical jaw misalignments and how can you recognize them? The main ones to be mentioned here are:
Cover bite or deep bite: This jaw misalignment is characterized by the fact that the teeth of the upper jaw are too steep. This hides the teeth of the lower jaw.
Overbite: The teeth of the upper jaw lie in front of those of the lower jaw. The reason is that the jaws are of different sizes. The lower jaw can be too small or the upper jaw too big.
Underbite : In this case too, the jaws are of different sizes, with the lower jaw being significantly larger than the upper jaw. The result is that the teeth of the lower jaw are in front of those of the upper jaw when the dentition is closed.
Crossbite: The lateral teeth of the lower jaw lie in front of those of the upper jaw when biting. Sometimes only individual teeth are affected, sometimes the entire set of teeth. The crossbite is the most common jaw misalignment.
Open bite: The front teeth of the dentition do not close properly, but have gaps. That makes it difficult to bite off.
Ideally, such jaw misalignments are treated between the ages of nine and thirteen in our orthodontic practice in Berlin Mitte . The reason is as follows: During this period, the change of teeth from the milk teeth to the permanent teeth has already taken place, on the other hand the jaw growth is not yet complete. In this respect, one can still have a good effect on the development of the jaw, often with simple measures. In particularly severe cases, however, treatment may be indicated earlier.