Underbite, Overbite, Crossbite: What Do They Mean?

Date ,   Published by dental.net

Many people are not completely familiar with dental disorders. A large number of dental conditions and diseases are natural and mostly have a genetic link. Fortunately today’s modern correction methods in dental medicine have made it possible to improve your smile.



Underbite:
The underbite is a condition in which the lower teeth land in front of the upper teeth when the jaws are closed. Ideally the lower front teeth are supposed to lie behind the upper teeth. The underbite affects the molars as well, in addition to the upper incisor teeth. People with underbite have a more prominent lower jaw than normal.

Underbite results mostly due to genetic reasons. However, children who have had prolonged pacifier use may also develop an underbite. Other habits like thumb sucking and bad chewing habits can worsen the condition. The condition may also develop in children with adenoids or allergies that cause them to breathe through the mouth. Underbites should be treated immediately as the condition can deteriorate quickly if not cared for properly.

Symptoms of an underbite include primarily difficulty in chewing. Over time headaches may develop and eventually temporomandibular joint syndrome may develop. This condition is an inflammation and arthritis of the joint near the temples which connects the lower jaw with the rest of the head.

Overbite:
An overbite is the term that refers to the overlap of the upper teeth over the lower teeth. In normal humans the overbite is about 3-5mm between the teeth. Overlaps greater than 5mm are classified as an abnormal overbite. The overbites make up about 70 percent of the dental disorders in children making it the most common malocclusion.

Like the underbite, overbites are also related to genetics. The condition is inherited from the parents. The condition can be worsened by extensive pacifier use, thumb sucking and tongue thrusting at a young age. The jaw bone is tender at this age and can be easily deformed by such habits.

The main symptoms of an overbite are of course visually obvious. In addition to that, there are difficulties while chewing. Chewing can especially be painful for chewy foods like pizza. Over time headaches may develop and the temporomandibular joint may suffer extra stress. The extra stress can lead to damage and wear of the jaw bone joint.

Crossbite:
A crossbite is a condition that arises due to irregularities of the occlusal surface of the tooth. One or more teeth may be tilted toward the cheek (known as buccal) or toward the tongue (known as lingual) as compared to the tooth above it. The crossbite can be on one or both sides of the jaw. The condition causes excessive stress on the jaw bone.

A crossbite is mainly due to heredity. The shape of the tooth and the jaw bone are governed by genes. Crossbites can also form if there is a delayed loss of baby teeth or an irregular eruption of new teeth. The condition can worsen due to careless chewing habits and thumb sucking.

Dental disorders are very painful and can deteriorate over time. It is important that they be treated at once. Most of the treatment will include braces and jaw retainers. In some surgeries, the jaw bone can be modified and improved as well. Consult your dentist on which dental treatments would suit you the best.

Published in: Dental Conditions and Diseases (See More Articles)