The bite is technically known as occlusion. When the bite is misaligned, it is termed malocclusion. When there is malocclusion, there are several orthodontic treatments available that can correct the alignment.
Malocclusion can cause premature wear on your teeth, gum disease, dysfunctional chewing pattern and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders. For some it can also affect speech development and self esteem. It is important to consult with your dentist to determine which treatment is right for you.
Visiting your dentist regularly can properly diagnose malocclusion. Orthodontics or surgery or a combination of both may be utilized to correct the alignment and functioning of teeth and jaw.
The following are the types of bites that can be corrected by orthodontic and/or surgery treatment:
This type of malocclusion is characterized by the upper front or side teeth biting inside the lower teeth. When you have a crossbite, it is recommended that it be corrected the soonest time possible. Braces or retainers may be used to correct this condition. However, when it involves multiple teeth, a palate expander may be necessary. Crossbite must be corrected because it can cause teeth to wear prematurely, contribute to the asymmetrical development of the jaws, affect chewing pattern and lead to gum disease and bone loss. It is also unattractive and can result in self-esteem issues.
As the term suggests, an openbite is when the upper and lower teeth do not meet vertically, hence, there’s an open space in-between. This condition can make the back teeth wear prematurely, affect the chewing pattern and contribute to TMJ disorder. This can be corrected by jaw surgery, jaw growth modification, and extrusion or pushing out of the front teeth. Because openbite is often caused by thrusting of tongue or sucking digits, avoiding these habits can lead to better results.
This type of malocclusion is also called deep bite and happens when there is disproportionate growth of the upper teeth or when the supporting bone is overdeveloped. This happens when there is a vertical overlap of the upper and lower teeth. Deep bite is when a person bites down with the front teeth prominently showing and very little of the lower teeth can be seen. This is considered an abnormality of the jaw and needs surgical and orthodontic treatment. When not corrected this can lead to improper functioning of the teeth and periodontal disease because the lower teeth is constantly biting into the gum tissue of the palate.
Also known as buck teeth, overjet is sometimes confused with overbite. This may be caused by several factors such as: molar misalignment, skeletal imbalance and crowded or missing teeth. Tongue thrust and thumb sucking can also aggravate the situation. An overjet can cause the improper functioning of the front teeth and cause the teeth to prematurely wear out.
This is the opposite of the overbite. When the lower teeth are biting into the front of the upper teeth, it is called an underbite. Some of the factors that contribute this condition are missing teeth, flared lower incisors, and tipped back upper incisors. It is recommended that underbite is corrected as early as possible. Corrective treatments are done to facilitate proper functioning of back and front teeth. They include orthodontics, jaw surgery for adults (either to move the upper jaw backward or lower jaw forward) or growth modification for children