Malocclusion (often called crooked teeth or a "poor bite") is the
improper fit and alignment of the teeth and jaws. A common cause of
malocclusion is teeth that have too much or too little room in the jaw.
Inherited traits, such as tooth and jaw size, mostly determine how
well your teeth fit together. The most obvious sign of malocclusion is crooked
or protruding teeth.
During the childhood and early teen years, orthodontists may
straighten the teeth by changing the formation of the jaw, removing
(extracting) selected teeth, or using fixed braces or removable
In adults, treatment with braces can straighten crooked teeth
caused by a jaw problem. But any restructuring of the jawbone must be done with
surgery, sometimes in combination with orthodontic treatment.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.