In orthodontics, your “bite” refers to the way the upper and lower teeth come together. In a perfect bite, both the upper and lower teeth should properly meet when biting down. However, due to malocclusions (or bad bites), teeth often improperly meet, thus causing bite problems and speech difficulty. Fortunately, common bite problems can be corrected by an orthodontic specialist. And while each individual bite problem is unique, here are 6 common bite problems typically found in children and adults.
1. Open Bite Problems
Proper chewing is often impacted by this type of bite. Habits such as tongue thrusting or thumb sucking affect the teeth and cause the upper and lower front teeth not to overlap. An open bite is defined as a lack of vertical overlap of the front teeth and it typically falls into two categories: anterior or posterior.
Anterior Open Bite: Occurs when the back teeth meet but the front upper and lower teeth don’t overlap.
Posterior Open Bite: Occurs when the front teeth are aligned but the back teeth are not.
2. Crossbite Issues
Normally the upper teeth overlap the lower ones. However, a crossbite occurs when the upper front teeth fit inside of the lower teeth. Due to a misalignment of the teeth, crossbites can cause problems with biting and chewing. If left untreated, they can get worse over time. Therefore, it’s important to schedule a consultation and receive treatment to correct the issue as soon as possible.
3. Underbite Orthodontic Problems
An underbite occurs when the lower jaw sits in front of the upper jaw. As a result of the lower jaw extending too far out, this may cause stress on jaw joints and create “bulldog” facial appearance.
Oftentimes, teeth have insufficient room to grow from the gums. Whether it’s due to big teeth or inadequate space in the jaw, crowding is one of the most common reasons for orthodontic treatment. To reduce the unesthetic appearance of crowding, teeth may be removed to make room. Additionally, braces are placed on the teeth to correctly move the other teeth into new areas of the mouth. If left untreated, crowding can cause a variety of dental issues, including:
- Dental decay
- Gum disease
5. Spacing Problems
Spacing is the exact opposite of crowding. Conditions such as undersized teeth and oversized jaws often cause too much space between the teeth. Not only is spacing an unfavorable esthetic problem, but it can potentially lead to gum issues down the road if left untreated.
6. Deep Bite Problems
When the bite is closed and the upper front teeth almost completely cover the bottom teeth, that is considered a deep bite. This may be uncomfortable for individuals since the lower front teeth may hit the roof of their mouth while chewing. In some cases, the upper teeth cut into the lower gums, thus causing possible gum disease and early enamel wear over time.
Have You Noticed a Common Bite Problem?
If so, you don’t need to wait until a dentist refers you. Nows the time to schedule a consultation from a certified specialist in Milwaukee or the surrounding area! Moles & Ferri Orthodontic Specialists provides a full spectrum of orthodontic services to create a healthy bite. If you or your child have misaligned teeth in need of correction, contact us today to schedule your free consultation!