In orthodontics, ‘bite’ denotes the way upper and lower teeth fit together. Teeth should fit together like a lid fits on a jar. The top teeth should surround the bottom teeth and fit snugly together. When a bite does not fit together correctly, it is called a ‘malocclusion.’ There are 6 common malocclusions that occur in kids and adults.
This occurs when the upper teeth fit inside of the lower teeth. It can be caused by misalignment of the teeth or a misalignment of the jaw bone itself. This can affect a particular tooth or set of teeth. It can occur in the front and/or the back. Crossbites can cause potential problems if not modified, including uneven jaw development and/or grinding down of outer layer of the tooth enamel.
The lower jaw jets forward more than the upper jaw. Potential concerns if not corrected: Face has bulldog look; tooth wear; stress on jaw joints.
3. Open bite
Anterior open bite: Arises when the back teeth fit together, and the upper and lower front teeth do not meet. This can be caused by finger or thumb sucking, tongue pushing or mouth breathing.
Posterior open bite: Arises when the front teeth meet, yet the back teeth do not. Probable concerns if not modified: Swallowing difficulties, tongue thrusts through teeth when swallowing, potential speech issues.
4. Deep bite
When biting down, the upper front teeth overlap the bottom teeth excessively. Sometimes the bottom teeth are not visible at all as the top teeth totally cover the bottom teeth. Potential concerns if not corrected: Upper teeth can bite into lower gums, lower teeth can bite into the ridge of the mouth, potential gum infection, early enamel wear.
Inadequate space for the teeth. This can be an effect of big teeth or a small jaw structure. This may cause teeth that protrude in any and all directions. Potential concerns if not fixed: Difficult to clean, increased risk for cavities, gum inflammation and periodontal disease.
Too much space between the teeth. It can be caused by missing teeth, underdeveloped teeth, over-sized jaws, or an arrangement of these disorders. Potential concerns if not modified: Food gets trapped in open spaces leading to an increased risk for cavities and inflammation of the gums.
The objective of orthodontics is to generate a healthy bite and beautiful smile. A healthy bite is vital for the overall longevity of the teeth and clear speech. If you are uncertain that you or a loved one has one of the 6 common bite alignment problems, Weber Orthodontics can help.