Understanding why people have different bites and how this can affect your teeth

under bite treatmentIf you’re one of the lucky ones, you may have been born with a perfectly straight set of teeth that fit together seamlessly. If, like many people, you may feel like your adult teeth were thrown into your mouth at random, then this may be because of issues with how your ‘bite’ is working.

In orthodontic terms, your ‘bite’ is the term for how your teeth sit together when the top and bottom teeth are shut together. If your bite is not aligned correctly then this can mean that your teeth don’t look neat and tidy, they might stick out or may become worn down by unnatural contact with other teeth in your mouth. The three main issues with a person’s bite are as follows:

  • Under bite
  • Over bite
  • Cross bite

Under bites

This is where the teeth in the lower jaw sit in front of the upper jaw. Under bites are often hereditary and they can be caused by overdevelopment of the lower jaw or underdevelopment of the upper jaw. They can affect people’s confidence and also cause speech problems.

Over bites

When people have forward, protruding teeth, this is often due to an overbite. This is where the top teeth are pushed out in front of the teeth below, meaning that they meet at an unusual angle or in some cases the top and bottom front teeth don’t meet at all. People can feel very self-conscious of an overbite, as teeth can look extremely prominent. Overbites can also result in wear and tear on the lower teeth and sometimes discomfort in the jaw bone.

Cross bites

This is where one tooth (or several teeth) slots behind or in front of other teeth when most of the others are aligned correctly. This can be unsightly if it occurs at the front of the mouth, and it can also cause unnatural wear on the teeth that are misaligned. More often than not, a cross bite occurs with a top tooth slotting behind a tooth on the bottom row.

Here at CK Dental Practice in Bristol, we can effectively treat under bites, over bites and cross bites. There are many different treatments ranging from braces to full jaw operations, so if you are worried about your bite, or the bite of your child, get in touch to discuss what options are available for us to help you.