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The Four Most Common Bite Problems

Bite problems are a common occurrence in patients requiring orthodontic care. These dental anomalies occur when the top and bottom teeth don’t fit together properly, and can cause medical issues down the road if they go untreated. Due to genetics and common teeth-shifting habits, there are multiple types of bite problems that orthodontists regularly see. In this blog, we’ll explain and discuss treatment for the four most common bite problems:

  • Overbite

  • Underbite

  • Crossbite

  • Openbite


Overbites, when the upper front teeth overlap part of the lower front teeth, are seen in over 70% of children that need dental work. These can happen because of genetics or habits that shift the teeth, like thumb-sucking. Overbites can wear down on the front teeth and cause damage to your gum tissue if not treated. Depending on how severe the overbite is, the most common solutions to this bite problem include:

  • Braces

  • Invisible aligners

  • Surgery


Underbites are a result of the lower jaw extending further out than the upper jaw. With this type of bite problem, the teeth of the lower jaw rest in front of the upper teeth. Underbites, like overbites, can be caused by genetics and habits — but, they can also be caused by birth defects and injury of the jaw. If not treated, they can cause oral health problems, such as:

  • Pain from jaw misalignment

  • Difficulty eating

  • Challenges with speaking

Common solutions to this bite problem include braces, invisible aligners, and surgery, similarly to overbites.


A crossbite is where the top teeth and bottom teeth do not come together in the correct position — usually the top or bottom teeth or jaws are off center. This bite problem is caused by genetics, and is usually indicated by tooth position, jaw position, or a combination of both. Crossbites can cause jaw pain, breathing issues, gum problems, and possibly chipped teeth if not addressed. Ways to treat crossbites include:

  • Braces (with or without a Herbst appliance)

  • Palatal expansion

  • Jaw surgery

  • Special retainers

  • Combinations of the methods above


Openbites are a type of bite problem that are identified by a gap between the top and bottom front teeth when the jaw is closed. There are two different types of open bites:

  • Anterior Openbite

    • When the upper and lower teeth do not overlap or touch when the back teeth are together

  • Posterior Openbite

    • When the upper and lower teeth meet, but not the back teeth

Without treatment, this kind of bite problem can cause issues with eating, swallowing, and speech. Braces, custom braces, and jaw surgery are common methods of treatment for openbites.

Let Parris Orthodontics Fix Your Smile

At Parris Orthodontics, we treat each patient the way we would want to be treated - with love, kindness, and respect. Whether you are thinking of fixing your bite problem or are wanting to learn more about your specific bite, we can help you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Contact us today and schedule your evaluation!


Posted by Bill Parris at 10:41 AM
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