Different types of crooked teeth

Different types of malocclusions

Malocclusion is the official term for a misalignment of your teeth and bite. Although it’s probably not a word you’ll hear very often (unless you hang out with orthodontists!).

There are different types of malocclusions, from crooked teeth to overbites – and they’re not all mutually exclusive.

Here is a guide to the malocclusions that we see and straighten for our patients on a regular basis.


Overcrowding is very common and it’s often caused by a lack of space, resulting in teeth that are crooked and overlap. It’s the most common reason for orthodontic treatment among adults.

Crowded teeth


An overjet is where your top teeth extend past your bottom teeth horizontally (not to be confused with an overbite). Protruding teeth can risk damage and cause problems with eating and speech.

Overjet malocclusion


While there should be some overlap of your lower front teeth, in some cases an increased overbite can cause your front teeth to bite down onto your gums.

Overbite malocclusion


A crossbite is where your upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth. In can happen on one or both sides of your jaw and it can affect your front or back teeth.

Crossbite malocclusion

Anterior crossbite (underbite)

A crossbite that affects the front teeth is known as an anterior crossbite, or perhaps more commonly as an underbite.

Anterior crossbite malocclusion


Spacing can occur between two or more teeth. Some of the causes can include missing teeth, small teeth, tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.

Dental spacing


A diastema is a space between two teeth, usually the front teeth. Madonna and model Lara Stone famously both have diastemas.

Diastema malocclusion

Impacted tooth

An impacted tooth is one that’s unable to erupt through the gum normally. Possible treatments include removing the tooth, or exposing it so that a brace can be fitted.

Impacted tooth

Missing tooth

Missing teeth, or hypodontia, can occur as a result of teeth not developing properly or through trauma.

Missing tooth

Open bite

An open bite is where the front teeth don’t overlap the lower teeth. An open bite affecting the front teeth is known as an anterior open bite.

Open bite

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Specialists in Straightening Teeth