bite issues

Overbite, Underbite, and other Common Types of Bite Issues

There are many different types of bite problems that cause your teeth to meet incorrectly. Also known as malocclusions, a misaligned bite can make it difficult to speak and chew food, and may even affect your confidence in your smile. To improve your bite and boost your confidence, we offer Invisalign treatment at Lifetime Family Dental. Continue reading to learn more about common bite issues and why they should be treated. 

Seven Different Types of Bite Issues

1: Overbite

When your upper front teeth significantly cover your bottom front teeth when you bite down, it’s called an overbite or deep bite. An overbite can cause discomfort due to your bottom teeth constantly hitting the roof of your mouth when chewing. The upper teeth may even cut into the lower gums, making your mouth more vulnerable to gum disease and other infections. 

2: Underbite

An underbite is the opposite of an overbite, meaning your lower front teeth sit in front of your upper front teeth when you bite. This type of bite problem puts stress on the jaw because of how far the lower jaw needs to extend forward. Underbites cause jaw and mouth pain, and may lead to TMJ disorders. 

3: Crossbite

When left untreated, an underbite or overbite may turn into a crossbite. If you have a posterior crossbite, all or some of your molars fit inside the bottom teeth instead of your top and bottom back teeth meeting each other. With an anterior crossbite, the front upper teeth fit behind your lower front teeth or get caught on your lower front teeth. 

People with a crossbite typically need to shift their jaw forward or sideways in order to bite down, which can cause jaw pain. Crossbites also cause improper jaw growth and may change the structure of your face over time. 

4: Open Bite

An anterior open bite occurs when the front teeth do not overlap, creating a space between the upper and lower front teeth when biting. A posterior open bite leaves a gap between the upper and lower back teeth. People with open bites tend to have speech impediments such as lisping, and may also have difficulty chewing. 

5: Crowding

If there is not enough space in your mouth to accommodate all of your teeth, crowding can occur. For instance, if your wisdom teeth are able to grow in without becoming impacted, the rest of your teeth will shift to make room and begin overlapping each other. Significant tooth crowding makes it difficult to properly clean your teeth, leaving your mouth more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.  

6: Gapped Teeth

Spacing issues, or tooth gaps, occur when teeth grow in or shift too far apart. Missing teeth and small teeth commonly cause spacing problems. Tooth gaps put your teeth at a higher risk of tooth decay by allowing more bacteria and food to get stuck between your teeth

7: Upper Front Teeth Protrusion

When your upper front teeth stick out significantly in front of the lower front, it’s called upper front teeth protrusion. It is extremely difficult to properly use protruding front teeth, and they can cause problems with closing your mouth all the way. People with upper front teeth protrusion must rely on their back teeth to chew, leading to faster, more severe tooth wear. 

How do I know if my jaw is misaligned?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have a misaligned bite. Consult your dentist if you have:

  • Jaw pain
  • Loose teeth
  • Speech impairment
  • Pain or stiffness when chewing
  • Difficulty brushing or flossing your teeth
  • Unconsciously biting inner cheeks or tongue frequently
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Frequent migraine headaches

Treating Bite Issues in Gilbert

Resolving bite issues is important for maintaining a clean, healthy mouth. If you have a mild case of any type of bite problem, Invisalign treatment can transform your smile. Contact Lifetime Family Dental for a consultation—we’ll examine your bite and determine the best treatment for your misalignment. Call 480-558-4331 to schedule an appointment today. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/11/2022). Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash