Most Common Bite Problems

Most Common Bite Problems
Posted on 09/20/2019
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Most Common Bite Problems

The correct alignment of your teeth is known as occlusion. The teeth in your upper jaw should overlap the teeth of your lower jaw just slightly so that your molars fit into the groves of the opposite molar.

The alignment in your lower teeth protects the tongue from being bitten, while upper teeth alignment prevent the cheeks and lips from being bitten.

A malocclusion, also known as a bite problem, is when there is a misalignment of the jaws and teeth causing them to not fit properly in the mouth. Malocclusion is typically an inherited condition, but it can also be caused by thumb sucking or pacifier use after age 3, prolonged use of bottle feeding, injuries that cause jaw misalignment, poor nutrition, and impacted teeth.

Symptoms of malocclusion

The symptoms of malocclusion vary based on severity and include:

  • Improper teeth alignment
  • Biting of the cheeks or tongue
  • Discomfort with biting or chewing
  • Speech problems
  • Mouth breathing
  • Altered appearance of the face

Diagnosis of Malocclusion

If you have a malocclusion, your dentist will most likely diagnose it through a routine dental exam, and take X-rays to determine what type of bite problem that you have. The most common bite problems include: 

  • Underbite: This is when the lower jaw extends out further than the upper jaw.
  • Overbite: The upper front teeth extend out further than the lower teeth and can even cause the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of your mouth.
  • Crossbite: The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which can cause misaligned jaw growth.
  • Openbite: The upper and lower front teeth do not overlap, which causes improper chewing, as well as tongue thrusting.
  • Widely spaced teeth: The spacing problem may be caused by missing teeth.
  • Protrusion: The upper teeth extend too far forward, or the lower teeth do not extend far enough forward, which impacts the appearance of your teeth.
  • Crowding: This is when the teeth do not have the room they need to erupt from the gum.
  • Misaligned Dental Midlines: When the back bite of your upper and lower teeth do not match, which impacts proper dental function.

Treatment of Malocclusion

Your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist for treatment of your bite problem. Depending on the type of bite problem you have, your orthodontist may recommend one or more of the following treatments: 

  • Braces to correct teeth position
  • Removal of teeth to fix overcrowding
  • Pallet expander
  • Reshaping, bonding or capping teeth
  • Surgery to reshape or shorten the jaw
  • Wires or plates to stabilize the jaw bone

See Your Sandton Orthodontist Today!

If you are experiencing bite problems and are looking for a Sandton orthodontist, contact us at Choonara Orthodontics. As a leading Sandton orthodontist, we will work with you to find the right solutions to your bite problem. You can call us at (011) 678-8090 or complete this online appointment form to schedule a consultation.