Bite Issues: What Is the Difference between a Crossbite, Underbite, and Overbite?

If your jaw is misaligned, it can cause many different bite issues. The more common issue is having an overbite, where your top teeth cover the bottom teeth, but you may also have an underbite or crossbite. Here is more information about each type of bite issue.


The first type of bite issue you might be dealing with is a crossbite. A crossbite occurs when your bottom and top teeth don't line up properly. If you have teeth that are tilted toward your cheek or toward your tongue, it can cause a crossbite. Many people have a crossbite without having an overbite or underbite, though you can also have it in combination with other bite issues. This is often the result of genetics, but you can get orthodontic treatment with braces and headgear to correct it. The braces will correct teeth alignment issues and help to correct your crossbite.


Another common bite issue you may be experiencing is an underbite. With this type of bite, the teeth on the upper row are pushed back so they fall behind the lower row. This is most noticeable when you are talking or close your jaw completely. There are many issues you might have when you have an underbite. First of all, due to the odd angle of your jaw, you will likely have jaw pain and issues as you get older. When you are talking or chewing, it becomes more difficult and can lead to soreness. The underbite also puts the enamel on your top teeth at risk since the bottom teeth are rubbing against them. This is why you should consider braces to correct the problem.


The final type of bite, which is one of the more common ones, is an overbite. This occurs when your top row of teeth drop down in front of the lower teeth when closing your jaw. With good jaw and teeth alignment, the top and bottom row should be even and just barely touch. With an overbite, those top teeth may cover the bottom teeth slightly or completely, depending on the severity. This could be from genetics or from using a pacifier too long as a baby. Like the other bite issues, braces will help to correct the problem. While it is mostly a cosmetic issue, severe overbites can also cause jaw problems and affect the enamel on your bottom teeth when the top teeth rub against them.