Should I Really Worry About My Misaligned Teeth?

Most of us have experienced this: you see a friend whom you haven't seen in a long time. You want to greet her, but something's stopping you, so you just smile at her from afar and wave as enthusiastically as you can. It's not that you're not happy to see her,  it’s just that you're a little worried about your smile. Misaligned teeth causes you to hide your pearly whites and show less confidence simply because you’re worried about what other people may think or say.

A lot of people also think that misaligned teeth is just a cosmetic dental problem and nothing more, not knowing that it could actually be the root of more severe dental issues and health concerns in the future.

What does Malocclusion mean?

Malocclusion, the medical term for "misaligned teeth", can come in different forms such as: gapped teeth, crossbite, overbite, underbite, open bite. If your teeth are badly misaligned, it won't be able to perform its primary function, which is to chew food properly. If you think this isn't a serious issue, you are mistaken. More serious dental and even digestive problems can occur if you are unable to masticate your food correctly.

Here are some of the most common Malocclusion problems and the negative effects they can bring:

Gapped Teeth

Teeth are normally situated beside each other without spaces. For some with gapped teeth, there is an abnormal and continued growth of the jawbone which causes the teeth to stay apart. A missing tooth can also trigger gapping because the teeth tend to shift from their original places. Gapped teeth can increase your risk of acquiring periodontal diseases because there is nothing to protect the gums from bacteria and damages.


Dental professionals call it "overjet" but they actually mean the same thing. Your upper teeth tend to bite over your lower teeth. Its cause is mainly genetics and underdevelopment of the bones, but bad oral habits also contribute largely. When you have an overbite, you may experience gum irritation, wear of the lower teeth, and painful jaw joints.


Think of overbite, but the opposite of it. This occurs when the lower teeth goes past the upper teeth. Just like the overbite, it is caused by an abnormal growth of the jawbone. Gum irritation and tooth wear, especially the under usage of the molars, can be expected.

Open Bite

Like the term suggests, an open bite occurs when the front portion of the upper and lower teeth do not make physical contact. In other words, the upper and lower teeth tend to create an open space for your mouth, which is a threat to your dental health. It can even affect your speech. In worse conditions, an open bite can lead to thermo-mandibular joint disorder or TMJ.


If you notice that your upper and lower teeth are misaligned, then you have a crossbite. There is no specific place in your dental area that crossbites can occur. In fact, it can affect all types of teeth. Since the teeth overlap each other, you may have difficulty cleaning them and can lead to higher risks for you to develop tooth decay or other periodontal diseases.

It's not that difficult to correct malocclusions. All you need to do is go to your trusted dentist. Let her check your dental area so that she may recommend a procedure that will best suit your needs. Most malocclusions are best treated with the Invisalign technology or even dental braces or retainers for the old-fashioned. In order to find out the best procedure for you, talk to your dentist.

Valerie M. Preston, D.D.S. is an experienced dental professional for both restorative and cosmetic dentistry. She is the owner and the resident dentist of the dental office Raleigh Center of Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry or more popularly called as VPreston Dental. She completed her university degree at the University of Maryland Baltimore and accomplished a pre-dentist course at the Ohio State University. With her education and training at both universities and her experience as a practicing dentist for nearly two decades, Dr. Preston has gained the confidence of a lot of patients not only from Raleigh, but also from the surrounding areas. With an eye for detail, she is known to create beautifully-made and natural smiles even for those who have lost all hope. She is currently affiliated with three well-renowned dental associations namely: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the American Dental Association and the North Carolina Dental Society.

As part of her advocacy to give people more reasons to smile, she has participated in a number of dental missions in the Dominican Republic where she educated children and adults alike about the importance of great oral health.

I am Valerie M. Preston, DDS with more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry. I’m an expert in restorative and cosmetic dentistry and a proud member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association and the North Carolina Dental Society. I ownVPreston Dental in Raleigh, NC, a dental clinic known for its spa-like ambiance. For more details, you can check out my website, Facebook and Twitter pages.