Your bite is an important part of your overall oral health. Bite refers to the way your upper and lower teeth meet. A misaligned bite is a malocclusion, and this happens when your teeth don’t meet properly or even at all. 

Each person’s bite is unique. However, there are several bite problems dentists commonly find in children and adults. Here’s a list.

  • An underbite

An underbite occurs when your lower jaw sits in front of your upper jaw. If you don’t get an underbite corrected, you risk your teeth wearing and stress on your jaw joints which can be painful. Before things worsen, make sure to have an appointment with professionals.

  • Crossbite

This happens when your upper teeth can fit inside your lower teeth. Crossbites may be caused by misaligned teeth or even misaligned bone. They can affect a group of teeth or just one tooth. 

If your back teeth are affected and the upper teeth fit inside the bottom teeth, this is called a posterior crossbite. On the other hand, if your front teeth are in crossbite and the top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth, this is called an anterior crossbite.

If you don’t get a crossbite corrected, your jaw could shift to one side, resulting in wearing of tooth enamel and lopsided jaw growth.

  • Open Bite

When your back teeth are together and your upper and lower front teeth don’t overlap, you have an anterior open bite. This can be the result of mouth breathing, tongue thrusting and excessive thumb sucking.

You have a posterior open bite when your back teeth don’t meet but your front teeth do. Failure to correct an open bite could lead to swallowing problems, potential speech problems and even the tongue pushing through your teeth when you swallow.

  • Crowding

Crowding occurs when there’s not enough space for all your teeth. It can be the result of inadequate space in the jaw or big teeth. Crowding can lead to the teeth overlapping, rotating or even looking staggered. Failure to correct crowding can lead to cavities and gum disease as crowded teeth are difficult to clean properly.

  • A Deep Bite

When your bite is closed, the upper front teeth cover your bottom teeth too much. This is a deep bite. Failure to correct it can cause the upper teeth to bite into the lower gums or the lower teeth biting into the top of the mouth.

  • Protrusion

A protrusion is when your front teeth stick out due to the upper jaw being too far forward and the lower jaw too far back. It can also be the result of teeth growing at an angle. 

  • Spacing

Too much space between your teeth can be the result of underdeveloped teeth, missing teeth or an oversized jaw. Failure to correct spacing issues can cause the upper teeth to break and it can be hard to properly close the mouth.

It’s important to note that common bite problems for children aren’t likely to come right on their own. Untreated problems will only get worse with time.  Often, bite problems are best treated when a child is still growing.