5 Common Bite Problems That Orthodontics Can Help!

Learn about the most common bite problems.

Have you found yourself wondering, “Do I need braces?” or “Am I a candidate for Invisalign?” Perhaps you have been more self-conscious of your smile’s appearance lately. Misaligned teeth can cause not just a lack of confidence but more severe issues over time, such as speech problems, issues chewing, and worn-down teeth. Crooked teeth can also result in cavities or gum disease, as misaligned teeth make it more difficult to properly brush and floss.

Fortunately, orthodontics can help correct these issues and make it easier to smile, chew, speak, and care for your teeth. Look below to learn more about some of the most common bite problems and see how an orthodontist can help solve them.

Common Bite Issues

While you may just see your teeth as “crooked,” there are terms that can help better define the spacing or alignment issue you’re experiencing. Here are five of the most common ones:

1. Crossbite

A crossbite occurs when a patient’s top and bottom don’t meet as they should when biting down. There are various types of crossbites.

  • Anterior crossbites are when upper front teeth are situated behind the lower front teeth. These may be a dental problem, caused by teeth being in the wrong position, or a skeletal problem where the upper and lower jaws don’t match in their positioning.
  • Posterior crossbites occur when the jaw is too narrow on one or both sides. Along with anterior crossbites, these can be dental or skeletal in nature.

Crossbites are often caused by genetics, habits like thumb sucking, or permanent teeth that haven’t yet erupted. Children who suck their thumb as they are developing are often more susceptible to developing a noticeable crossbite that will continue to become exaggerated as their permanent teeth come in.

2. Overbite

When a person’s upper teeth protrude over their lower teeth by a significant amount, this is referred to as an overbite. In many cases, lower teeth bite into the roof of the mouth and push out the upper teeth, resulting in excessive overjet, or the distance between the upper and lower teeth. Overbites and overjets can be caused by genetics, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), missing teeth, and bad dental habits such as teeth grinding.

3. Underbite

An underbite is when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth when the mouth is closed. It’s often noticeable by the appearance of a “bulldog-like” jawline, where the lower jaw juts out prominently. While it may seem like a purely cosmetic issue, underbites can lead to various complications if left untreated, including difficulty chewing, speech problems, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Genetics, prolonged childhood thumb sucking, irregular tooth growth, and jaw development issues are some of the potential causes of an underbite.

4. Open Bite

If a person’s upper and lower teeth don’t touch, this is called an open bite. There are various types of open bites that should be addressed through orthodontic treatment.

  • An anterior open bite occurs when front teeth don’t touch. This causes an aesthetically unpleasing smile as well as issues with proper jaw function impacting speech and biting capabilities. Anterior open bites will often result in excessive wear of posterior teeth.
  • A posterior open bite is when back teeth don’t touch. This is usually a result of side tongue thrusts or poor dental habits prevalent in children.

Symmetric open bites are typically caused by consistent tongue thrusts, while asymmetric open bites are caused by poor habits that impact dental health such as thumb sucking.

5. Deep Bite

A deep bite occurs when the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed. While some overlap is normal, an excessive deep bite can lead to various dental issues if left untreated, including wear on the teeth, jaw pain, and even difficulties in chewing and speaking.

Genetics, excessive childhood thumb sucking, teeth crowding, irregular jawbone development, and missing teeth can potentially create a deep bite.

Schedule a Free Consultation

While these are the main types of bite problems that we see, we also tend to see issues like protruding front teeth, spacing issues, overcrowding, and other misalignments that can be corrected by orthodontia.

No matter the bite problem you’re experiencing, we can come up with an orthodontic treatment plan to address the issue and give you your perfect smile. Our treatments work by envisioning your ideal smile and then using traditional braces or Invisalign to slowly move your teeth into alignment (usually over the course of months, often in a year or less).

The best way to find the proper course of treatment to achieve your ideal smile is to contact us for a consultation. At Adirondack Orthodontics, we offer free consultations that include X-rays, a 3D scan, and an orthodontic evaluation.

Call or text us today to schedule your first appointment at your nearest location; we have six offices in the Capital Region to best serve you!

6 Convenient Locations