Jefferson University Hospitals


A misalignment of teeth – an overbite, an underbite or crowding – is called a malocclusion. Many people have some degree of malocclusion, but not serious enough to require treatment. Oral habits – such as thumb sucking and nail biting – and putting pressure on teeth are factors of malocclusion. The underlining cause of malocclusion can be placement of the upper and lower jaw, which may require surgery. For expert diagnosis and treatment, seek the oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Jefferson.

If after evaluating your condition our surgeons find that your malocclusion is severe, we may recommend braces or other orthodontic appliances or orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery to correct the problem by moving all or part of the jaw into a new position that is more balanced and functional. Correction of malocclusion may also reduce risk of tooth decay and help relieve excessive pressure on the temporomandibular joint.