Most people associate bite issues, or occlusions, with less attractive smiles. However, they can also cause issues such as jaw pain and premature wearing down of the teeth. Below are a list of common bite issues, the problems they cause, and corrective options. For the majority of bite issues, early detection and correction will help to make treatment easier and less costly.
In a crossbite, one or more of the upper teeth will sit on the inside of the lower teeth. As a result, people with crossbits usually have to close their mouth by moving their lower jaw forward or to the side. Crossbites can wear down the teeth prematurely, lead to incorrect chewing patterns and asymmetrical jaw development, as well as cause gum disease, bone loss, and jaw joint dysfnction (TMJ).
Depending on the number of teeth affected, treatment may include retainer, braces or palate expander.
Occurring at the front of the mouth, overbites are when upper teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth so that the teeth are effectively not touching. Also known as a deep bite, overbites can prematurely wear down the lower teeth, cause the front teeth to function improperly, and lead to periodontal problems since the lower teeth constantly bite into the gums of the upper teeth.
Through orthodontic levelling of the front and/or back teeth, teeth will be properly realigned to come together.
Underbites occur when the front lower teeth close over the front upper teeth. This can wear down the teeth prematurely and cause jaw or joint problems that lead to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Depending on the severity of the issue, treatment may include jaw growth modification, teeth extraction, palatal expansion, or surgical jaw correction for severe cases.
In an openbite, the front upper and lower teeth do not overlap properly, causing the front teeth to literally be open when biting down. Openbites result from small habits in small children such as finger sucking and tongue thrusts, as well as uneven jaw growth. This can prematurely wear down the back teeth, cause incorrect chewing patterns, and lead to pain later on through jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Openbites are the most time sensitive of all bite types since corrective action results depend heavily on early treatment. Treatments include jaw growth modification, teeth extrusion, braces, or jaw surgery. Since this type of bite directly depends on oral habits, it is important to stop actions such as finger sucking and tongue thrusts to completely correct the issue.
If you’re concerned about your or your child’s bite, please let us know so we can determine the issue and look into treatment options.