A malocclusion is a dental term for a bite problem. Everyone has some degree of malocclusion. However, significant malocclusions can contribute to mouth breathing and interfere with speaking and eating. A poor bite can cause teeth and enamel to wear prematurely. Additionally, malocclusions can affect the overall appearance of your face. Malocclusions are the most frequent reason for braces or orthodontic treatment.
Ideally, your top and bottom set of teeth should fit together and form an accurate bite. Your top teeth should fit slightly over your bottom teeth. All of your teeth should line up. Your teeth should be straight and equally spaced.
Most malocclusions are inherited. Such conditions include differences in jaw size, poorly aligned jaws, crowded teeth, extra teeth, and missing teeth. Accidents, tumors, or prolonged thumb sucking can also cause malocclusions.