Overbite, Underbite, and Just Right Bite

an explanation of overbite and underbite

Close your mouth and gently push your upper and lower jaw together as if you were taking a bite of something.

The way that your upper and lower jaw connect and line up as you do that, is referred to by dentists as your “bite.”

Your bite is important for both your dental health and hygiene, as well as your general health too.

Upper and lower jaws that do not align correctly sometimes make it more difficult for you to access and clean all of your teeth as effectively as you otherwise could.


What Is Underbite?

Underbite is the name given to your bite if your lower teeth extend further outwards than your upper teeth.

It’s a condition that can range in severity and the extent of an underbite can determine the nature of the treatment that your dentist may recommend to fix it.


What Causes Underbite?

There are a few factors that can lead to the development of underbite, but most commonly it either stems from genetics or bad habits from your childhood. Things like sucking your thumb, using a pacifier until late in your development or bottle feeding past early infancy can all affect the development of the bite and contribute to underbite.

Occasionally however, underbite can also develop at a later age in life. Injuries like broken jawbones and tumors can all cause underbite to develop at any point.


Is Underbite A Problem?

Most cases of underbite are usually mild enough to be left as they are.

In more serious cases though, there may be some significant oral health benefits from treating the underbite.

As we mentioned above, underbite can be a problem if it is severe enough to prevent you from properly cleaning and caring for your teeth. Underbite can also be a cause of other dental injuries, since improperly aligned bite can sometimes cause you to accidentally bite your tongue or cheeks.

If you think you have an underbite, your best option is to contact your dentist for an initial consultation. For mild cases, particularly in younger patients there may be multiple treatment options available. Your dentist may also refer you to a specialist orthodontist for more advanced cases.


What Is Overbite?

Overbite is simply the opposite of underbite.

It is the name given to the condition where your upper jaw extends further outwards than your lower jaw.

A little bit of overbite is fairly common and natural and might not necessarily be an issue.


What Causes Overbite?

Overbite is usually caused more by genetics than development, and tends to have far less negative implications for your dental or oral health.

Your dentist will usually refer you to an orthodontist if you require overbite correction treatment.


Is Overbite A Problem?

Overbite is usually much less of an issue than underbite. In most mild cases, overbite can be left untreated without much of an ongoing risk or implication.

If you are concerned about overbite or underbite, the best thing to do is always to contact your dentist. There are multiple treatment and cosmetic dentistry options that could help to improve your bite, and your dentist will recommend the most suitable treatment for you following a consultation. Make an appointment with our experienced dentists today here at Pier Dental Centre by calling us at 604-986-9161.

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