Orthodontic Bite Conditions

Crossbite

A crossbite occurs when one or more of the upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth.  It can occur in the front of the mouth or on the sides, where its usually a bilateral condition.  Early correction of a crossbite is recommended because it can lead to permanent problems including asymmetric jaw growth, irregular muscle function and altered tooth eruption.

Crossbite should be corrected because it can:

  • cause premature wear of the teeth
  • cause gum disease including bone loss
  • cause asymmetrical development of the jaws
  • cause dysfunctional chewing patterns
  • make your smile less attractive

How can a crossbite be orthodontically corrected?

Before patient photo: Orthodontic Crossbite conditions
After patient photo: Orthodontic bite Corrected

If there is a single tooth in crossbite, the tooth can be moved into the correct position with braces. When multiple teeth are in crossbite, the arch needs to be expanded with braces or a combination of braces and an intra-oral appliance. This will help correct the bite relationship and allow the jaws to grow in harmony.

Open bite 

A side view diagram showing what an openbite looks likeAn open bite occurs when there is insufficient vertical overlap of the teeth. It is caused by oral habits such as a tongue thrust, thumb or finger sucking or when the jaws don’t grow evenly. Timing of treatment is critical to the overall success of the therapy.

How can an open bite be orthodontically corrected?

Before patient photo: Orthodontic Open Bite condition
Before

 After patient photo: Orthodontic bite corrected using dental braces
After

An open bite can be corrected through growth modification of the jaws using braces, extrusion of the anterior teeth and in some cases surgical correction of the jaws. Also breaking oral habits, such as digit sucking, will facilitate the correction of an open bite.

Overbite – Deep bite

Class II Overbite

A side view illustration showing what an overbite looks likeOverbite occurs when the upper front teeth protrude over the lower front teeth. Generally there is no contact between the upper and lower front teeth. Often you cannot see the lower incisors. Overbite is due to a disproportionate amount of eruption of front teeth or over development of the bone that supports the teeth and a front to back discrepancy in the growth of the upper or lower jaw (Class II Relationship). Overbite is commonly known as a deep bite.

Overbite should be corrected because it can:

  • cause improper functioning of your front teeth
  • result in the lower front teeth biting into the gum tissue of the upper palate leading to tissue problems
  • unusual wear of the lower front teeth
  • cause jaw or joint problems
  • make your smile less attractive

How can an overbite be orthodontically corrected?

Before patient photo: Orthodontic Overbite Issue
Before

After patient photo: Orthodontic Overbite corrected
After

Overbite can be corrected through moving the front teeth up and/or extruding the back teeth, both of which will “open” the bite.  Once the teeth are properly aligned, the deep bite is eliminated.  This can be accomplished with braces alone or in combination with an appliance such as a bite plate.   

Overjet – “Buck Teeth”

Class II Overjet

A side view diagram showing what an overjet looks likeOverjet is also known as protrusion. In this case, the lower teeth are too far behind the upper front teeth. This can be caused by an improper alignment of the molars (Class II Relationship), a skeletal imbalance of the upper and lower jaw; flared upper incisors, missing lower teeth or a combination of all the above. In addition, oral habits such as thumb sucking, finger sucking or tongue thrusting can exacerbate the condition, giving the “buck tooth” appearance.

Overjet should be corrected because it can:

  • prevent proper functioning of the front teeth
  • lead to premature wear
  • make your smile less attractive
  • make the front teeth more prone to injury

How can overjet be orthodontically corrected?

Before patient photo: Orthodontic Overjet condition

Before

After patient photo: Orthodontic Overjet corrected with orthodontic treatments

After

Overjet can be corrected through growth modification using a functional appliance and/or braces and elastics to reduce the skeletal imbalance or extraction of teeth.

Underbite

Class III Underbite

A side view illustration showing what an underbite looks likeThe lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. An underbite is usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or a combination of the two (Class III Relationship). An underbite can also be caused by flared lower incisors, missing upper teeth or a combination of all the above. Early correction of an underbite is recommended.

Underbite should be corrected because it can:

  • prevent proper functioning of the front teeth or molars which can lead to premature wear of the teeth
  • cause chewing or eating problems
  • cause jaw or joint problems
  • make your smile less attractive

How can an underbite be orthodontically corrected?

Before patient photo: Side view of mouth with Underbite issue
After patient photo: Side view of mouth with corrected Underbite

An underbite can be corrected through growth modification of the jaws, extraction of teeth and in some cases, surgical correction of the jaws.  A combination of extra-oral appliances and braces is often used for this correction.