What Are the Differences Between Overbites, Underbites, and Crossbites?

posted in: Children's Dentistry | 0

Bite problems are a common reason to visit the dentist, but there are actually several different types of misaligned bites. As children age, teeth can grow in crooked, twisted, or overlapping. These issues can occur for a variety of reasons including mouths that are too small for their own teeth, and upper and lower jaws that aren’t the same size just to name a couple.

Crooked teeth, underbites, and overbites are usually inherited traits which can’t be prevented. Other causes of these common dental issues can include the early loss of baby teeth, improper fitting of dental devices such as fillings or crowns, gum disease, and bad habits such as thumb sucking or using a pacifier and/or baby bottle past the intended age.

Misaligned bites and crooked teeth cause problems because they can:

  • Interfere with proper chewing
  • Make the task of keeping teeth clean a challenge which increases potential risk for cavities, gingivitis, and tooth decay
  • Strain jaws, teeth, and muscles which increases the risk of broken teeth
  • Lower self-esteem and make people feel self-conscious about their appearance
  • Can affect breathing, speech, and the appearance of your face


  • Usually correlates with a narrow upper jaw
  • Can involve a single tooth or a group of teeth
  • Can happen on the side or in the front of the mouth
  • Causes gum disease, bone loss, and tooth wear
  • One or more of the upper teeth bite on inside of the lower mouth


  • Sometimes mistakenly referred to as an overjet
  • Vertical overlap of upper front teeth over lower front teeth
  • Shallow and deep overbites can result in many problems
  • Technical term is a Class II bite


  • Occurs when the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper front teeth
  • Caused by the undergrowth of upper jaw and/or lower jaw
  • Can lead to pain and tooth wear in jaw and joints
  • Sometimes leads to speech/articulation problems
  • Can lead to aesthetic concerns
  • Technical term is a Class III Malocclusion

Schedule your visit with Tribeca Dental Studio today to find out which treatment option is best for you.