Crossbite

One or more of the upper teeth biting on the inside of the lower teeth characterizes a crossbite. Crossbite can occur in the front and/or the sides of the mouth. Early correction of crossbites is recommended.

Crossbites should be corrected because they 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
  • Be related to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ)

How can a crossbite be orthodontically corrected?

If there is a single tooth crossbite, braces or a retainer may be used to move it into the correct position. If multiple teeth are in crossbite, palate expander is normally required

Openbite

Inadequate vertical overlap of the front teeth characterizes an openbite. It is caused by oral habits such as tongue thrust, digit sucking, or when the jaws don’t grow evenly. Timing of treatment is critical to the overall success of the therapy.

Openbite should be corrected because it can:

  • Cause premature wear of the back teeth
  • Cause dysfunctional chewing patterns
  • Make your smile less attractive
  • Be related to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ)

How can an openbite be orthodontically corrected?

An openbite can be corrected through growth modification of the jaws, extrusion of the front teeth and in some cases surgical correction of the jaws. Breaking oral habits such as digit sucking will facilitate the correction of an openbite and make the result more stable.

Overbite

Overbite is a measure of the vertical overlap of the upper and lower front teeth. Excessive overbite may be caused by disproportionate eruption of front teeth or over development of the bone that supports the teeth. Excessive overbite is commonly seen in conjunction with a Class II relationship (see below). Overbite is also 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 palate leading to periodontal problems
  • Cause unusual wear of the lower front teeth
  • Make your smile less attractive

How can an overbite be orthodontically corrected?

An overbite can be corrected through orthodontic leveling of the front and/or back teeth.

Overjet

Overjet is measure of the horizontal relationship of the upper and lower front teeth. It is often called “buck teeth” and is commonly confused with overbite. Excessive overjet may be caused by improper alignment of the molars (Class II relationship), a skeletal imbalance of the upper and lower jaw(s), flared upper incisors, missing lower teeth, crowded or tipped back lower teeth or a combination of all the above. In addition, oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking or tongue thrusting can exacerbate the condition.

Overjet should be corrected because it can:

  • Prevent proper functioning of the front teeth
  • Lead to premature wear
  • Make your smile less attractive

Underbite 

The lower teeth biting in front of the upper teeth characterize an underbite. 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). Underbite can also be caused by tipped back upper incisors, flared lower incisors, missing upper teeth or a combination of all the above. Early correction of underbite is recommended.

Underbite should be corrected because it can:

  • Prevent proper functioning of the front and/or back teeth
  • Be related to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Make your smile less attractive

How can an underbite be orthodontically corrected?

An underbite can be corrected by growth modification of the jaws, extraction of teeth and in some cases surgical movement of the jaws.