Types Of Bite Problems

About Crossbites

Crossbites occur when one or more upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth. This may occur with a single tooth or with multiple teeth.

Untreated crossbites can lead to:

  • Premature wear of the teeth
  • Gum disease including bone loss
  • Asymmetrical development of the jaws
  • Dysfunctional chewing patterns

For most crossbite cases, braces will be required to move the tooth (or teeth) into the correct position. Sometimes other intra-oral appliances may be needed to help expand the arch if there are multiple teeth with crossbites.

About Overbites

An overbite occurs when the upper front teeth protrude over the lower front teeth such that they do not touch at all. An overbite is usually attributed to disproportionate entry of the front teeth, overdevelopment of the bone that supports the teeth, or a difference in growth of the upper and lower jaws.

Untreated overbites can lead to:

  • Improper functioning of the front teeth
  • The lower front teeth biting into the gum tissue of the upper palate (causing tissue problems)
  • Unusual wear of the lower front teeth
  • Jaw or joint problems

Overbites can generally be corrected through traditional braces or Invisalign. Treatment will involve moving the front teeth up and/or bringing the back teeth together. This will help open up the bite so that the teeth are properly aligned.

About Overjets

An overjet (also known as a protrusion) is when the lower teeth are too far behind the upper front teeth. Overjets can be caused by improper alignment of molars, a skeletal imbalance in the jaw, flared upper incisors, missing lower teeth, or a combination of these things. Certain oral habits like tongue thrusting or finger sucking can make the condition worse.

Untreated overjets can lead to:

  • Improper functioning of the front teeth
  • Premature wear of the teeth

Overbites can generally be corrected through traditional braces or Invisalign. Treatment will involve moving the front teeth up and/or bringing the back teeth together. This will help open up the bite so that the teeth are properly aligned.

About Underbites

An underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It can be caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, flared upper incisors, missing lower teeth, or a combination of these things. Early correction is recommended.

An untreated underbite can cause:

  • Improper functioning of the front teeth or molars
  • Premature wearing of the teeth
  • Chewing or eating problems
  • Jaw or joint problems

Underbites can be corrected through growth modification of the jaw using intra-oral appliances, teeth extraction, or in some cases surgery.

About Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is a tooth that has failed to come into the mouth fully. This can be caused by early loss of primary teeth, crowding of teeth, or tooth bud problems. The most commonly impacted teeth are wisdom teeth, but canines and premolars may also be impacted.

If left untreated, an impacted tooth can:

  • Cause damage to the root structure of adjacent teeth
  • Interfere with the sinus cavity
  • Leave unwanted spaces in the mouth
  • Cause improper functioning of the teeth
  • Cause premature wear of the teeth
  • Create improper tooth alignment

An impacted tooth can usually be exposed over the course of a few months and brought into the correct position. This may involve a minor surgical procedure by an oral surgeon who works closely with our practice. After the procedure, our dentists can then work to guide the tooth into the proper position.

About Crowded Teeth

Teeth can become crowded in the mouth due to improper eruption of the teeth, early or late loss of primary teeth, or when teeth are larger than the space available in the jaw. Crowded teeth can become twisted or displaced, making them hard to keep clean.

If left untreated, crowding can lead to: