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Types of Occlusions (Bites)

Types of Occlusions (Bites)


One or more of the upper teeth biting on the inside of the lower teeth characterizes a crossbite. Crossbite can occur in the front and/or the sides of the mouth. Early correction of crossbites is recommended.

Crossbites should be corrected because they can:

- Cause premature wear of the teeth.
- Cause gum disease including bone loss.
- Cause asymmetrical development of the jaws.
- Cause dysfunctional chewing patterns.
- Make your smile less attractive.
- Be related to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ).

Cross Bite

How can a crossbite be orthodontically corrected?

If there is a single tooth crossbite, braces or a retainer may be used to move it into the correct position. If multiple teeth are in crossbite, a palate expander may be required.

Open Bite

Inadequate vertical overlap of the front teeth characterizes an open bite. It is caused by oral habits such as tongue thrust, digit sucking, or jaws that don’t grow evenly. Timing of treatment is critical to the overall success of the therapy.

Open bite should be corrected because it can:

- Cause premature wear of the back teeth.
- Cause dysfunctional chewing patterns.
- Make your smile less attractive.
- Be related to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ).

Open Bite

How can an open bite be orthodontically corrected?

Open bite can be corrected through growth modification of the jaws; extrusion of the front teeth; and in some cases surgical correction of the jaws. Breaking oral habits such as digit sucking will facilitate the correction of an open bite and make the result more stable.


Overbite is a measure of the vertical overlap of the upper and lower front teeth. Excessive overbite may be caused by disproportionate eruption of front teeth or over development of the bone that supports the teeth. Overbite is also known as a deep bite.

Overbite should be corrected because it can:

- Cause improper functioning of your front teeth.
- Result in the lower front teeth biting into the gum tissue of the palate leading to periodontal problems.
- Cause unusual wear of the lower front teeth.
- Make your smile less attractive.


How can an overbite be orthodontically corrected?

Overbite can be corrected through orthodontic leveling of the front and/or back teeth.

Overjet should be corrected because it can:

- Prevent proper functioning of the front teeth.
- Make your teeth more prone to trauma.
- Lead to premature wear.
- Make your smile less attractive.


The lower teeth biting in front of the upper teeth characterizes an underbite. An underbite is usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or a combination of the two (Class III relationship). Underbite can also be caused by tipped back upper incisors, flared lower incisors, missing upper teeth, or a combination of all. Early correction of underbite is recommended because it can:

- Prevent proper functioning of the front and/or back teeth.
- Be related to jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ).
- Make your smile less attractive.


How can an underbite be orthodontically corrected?

Underbite can be corrected by growth modification of the jaws, extraction of teeth, palatal expansion and in some cases surgical movement of the jaws.

Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is one that has failed to erupt normally into the mouth and remains partially or totally covered by the gums and/or bone. Impactions can be caused by improper positioning of the developing tooth bud, premature loss of primary teeth, and crowding. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly impacted teeth, but canines and premolars are also commonly impacted.

This problem should be corrected because it can:

- Cause damage to the root structure of adjacent teeth.
- Leave unwanted spaces.
- Lead to improper functioning of the teeth.
- Cause asymmetric alignment of the teeth.

How can impacted teeth be orthodontically corrected?

Usually the impacted tooth is exposed and orthodontically moved into the correct position. Correction of impacted teeth often involves a minor surgical procedure performed by a periodontist or an oral surgeon working closely with our practice. This will allow us to guide the impacted tooth into the proper position.

“The information on this site is provided for educational or informative purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, recommendations or treatment”.

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