Blog Post

Different Types of Bites


Straight teeth are something that everyone would love to have. However, did you know that orthodontic treatment can do more than just straighten your teeth? Correcting your bite is just as important as straightening your teeth. Read below to fine out why!

What Does "Bite" Mean?

When we talk about bite, we don't mean like the kind you get from a dog - or even getting a bite to eat. In orthodontics, "bite" refers to the way that your teeth fit together. The way that your upper and lower teeth fit when your mouth is closed is called occlusion. An incorrect bite or the misalignment of teeth is called a malocclusion. In most cases, a malocclusion is hereditary, and they are very common.

Improper Bites

An overbite occurs when the top teeth stick out disproportionately over the bottom teeth. Although we would never use this term personally, it is possible that you may have heard an overbite referred to as "buck teeth".temp-post-image

An underbite is when the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth.temp-post-image

A crossbite happens when the teeth fit inside of or on top of each other. This type of incorrect bite may affect a single tooth or potentially a group of teeth. Crossbites can also cause teeth to tilt outwards or inwards, where teeth lean towards the cheeks or tongue rather than straight up and down.temp-post-image

Why Bite Matters

The good news is that a bad bite is not usually a dental emergency and is very common. In some cases, a patient may appear to have straight teeth and think that they do not need orthodontics. However, if their bite is misaligned, it is important to have it corrected through orthodontic treatment. There are many negative effects of an improper bite such as:

  • Difficulty eating or chewing

  • Trouble speaking or pronouncing words

  • Headaches or jaw pain

  • The uneven wearing of the teeth, resulting in deterioration of tooth enamel and increased risk of decay

  • More susceptible to sports injuries or high impact activity injuries

  • In some cases, it may even cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Benefits of a Healthy Bite

The In addition to creating a beautiful smile, braces or Invisalign ensure that teeth are properly placed for maximum health benefits too. Here are a few additional benefits that result from correcting your bite:

  • More proportional appearance of the face

  • Balanced positioning of the jaw and lips

  • Easier breathing, eating and sleeping that comes with newly expanded airway

  • Healthier teeth and gums

We are Here to Help

Even though you may not have known much about your bite before reading this, there’s a chance your bite needs to be corrected. The great news is that the treatment is easy. The same treatment options that we would explore to straighten you teeth are what we use to correct bite too. We use braces, Invisalign®, retainers and other orthodontic appliances to guide your teeth into their ideal placement and bite alignment. Dr. Jolley specializes in all aspects of correcting bites and straightening teeth. If you’re concerned about the appearance of your teeth or bite, contact us today. We can help!