Different Types of Bite Problems Explained
Have you ever heard that old expression that a good smile “warms hearts and opens doors”? Well, it reinforces scientific research that shows that your smile has a huge impact on how other people perceive you, so if you have crooked, missing or chipped teeth or teeth missing altogether then people will think differently about you than if you don’t. There are many different types of bite problems that can cause crooked, misaligned or unevenly spaced teeth, and here are just a few of the more common ones.
An Ideal Bite
In an ideal bite, the top teeth sit in front of the bottom teeth, but only by one or two millimeters or so. Teeth are spaced evenly, in a continuous line and point straight up or down.
What Is an Underbite?
In an underbite – clinically called prognathism – the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth during the bite. Underbites are usually caused by a misalignment of the lower jaw, a condition that can be present from birth.
Difficulties with underbites include difficulties with chewing food, difficulties with speech, excessive wear of the tooth enamel and jaw, head and ear pain.
What is an Overbite?
In an overbite, the upper teeth sit in front of the lower teeth, but there is a sizeable gap between the top and bottom front teeth. In an ideal bite, the gap between the top and bottom teeth is a millimeter or two, but with an overbite the gap can range as high as 10 millimeters deep. In many cases, people with deep overbites have a recessed chin giving the appearance that their chin is sunken back a bit into their neck.
An overbite can be caused by a jaw condition present from birth, but it can also be caused by thumb-sucking or extended use of a pacifier when a child is young.
What is a Crossbite?
A crossbite happens when you have both an underbite and an overbite happening at the same time. The most common type of crossbite comes when the upper front teeth go in front of the lower front teeth during a bite, but around the sides or back of the jaw the upper teeth actually sit inside the lower teeth.
Crossbites cause excessive enamel wear, especially where the teeth go from overbite to underbite.
What is Crowding?
Crowding happens when there are too many teeth for the jaw to accommodate. Crowding can cause the teeth to erupt from the gums in strange places, causing crooked and misaligned teeth. Crowding often causes food particles to get stuck between misaligned teeth, and because it can also make some of the teeth more difficult to brush can lead to excessive plaque buildup, cavities and gum disease.
How Do You Deal with Bite Problems?
There are several ways to deal with common bite problems. Your dentist can give you braces or a retainer to help straighten and space out teeth, they may suggest removing the wisdom teeth to provide more room in the jaw or they may give you a dental guard or other appliance to adjust your jaw.
Each case is different, so if you think there’s a problem with your bite then book an appointment and get a no-obligation consultation.
Orion Dental provides a full range of dental services for the entire family. We help our patients take care of their teeth and mouths so they have beautiful, white smiles! If you think you might have a bite problem, call either our Milton dental office at (905) 636 – 9770 or call our Scarborough dentist clinic at (416) 291 – 0306 and book a no-obligation consultation.