Continuing in our series on orthodontic problems to watch out for in adults, this week we’re taking a look at underbites, overbites and crossbites — and why they’re problematic.
The Differences Between Underbites, Overbites and Crossbites
Even if your teeth are straight, you can still have jaw and teeth alignment problems, called malocclusions. Malocclusions fall into three categories.
Underbites are known in orthodontics as Class III bites, and they are categorized by the lower teeth protruding in front of the upper front teeth. They are caused by problems with jaw growth: either undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or sometimes both.
Overbites are known as Class II bites, and they are categorized by the upper front teeth landing significantly ahead of the lower front teeth. They are caused by genetics, bad habits such as thumb-sucking, or overdevelopment of the bone supporting the teeth.
Crossbites are a little less standard than the definitions of overbites and underbites. In short, crossbites happen when the upper and lower jaws are both misaligned. Typically, one tooth or a group of teeth in the upper arch will bite inside the lower teeth in either the front or on the sides of the mouth.
Problems Caused by Underbites, Overbites and Crossbites
Any type of malocclusion can lead to excessive wearing down of your teeth over time, as well as jaw pain and problems chewing. They can also lead to gum disease and eventually tooth loss.
Treat Bite Problems at Elrod Ortho
Don’t put off having your bite problems diagnosed and putting a plan in place to fix them. Dr. Elrod has been practicing orthodontics for more than 30 years and loves helping kids, teens and adults gain confidence in their smiles. If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call at 816-373-6006, or visit Elrod Orthodontics on facebook!